Gallup: Plurality now supports “balanced approach” of tax hikes and spending cuts to reduce deficit

posted at 7:41 pm on November 15, 2012 by Allahpundit

Depressing, not so much because of the raw numbers as because of the trend. Sixteen months ago, adults split 50/32 in favor of deficit reduction entirely or mostly via spending cuts versus the “balanced approach,” i.e. an equal mix of cuts and tax hikes. That was a hopeful early sign that voters had grasped the core problem driving runaway deficits; the next step would be to educate them on the urgent need for entitlement reform and the inconvenient fact that tax hikes on the rich alone won’t dig us out of this Grand Canyon. If they want to tax their way out, it’s time to pay the piper.

Today’s split? 45/40 in favor of “balance” over mostly/all cuts. Backslide:

GOP opinion is actually slightly more in favor of a cuts-heavy approach now than it was in July 2011; back then, Republicans split 67/24 between mostly/only cuts and “balance.” It’s Democrats and independents who have shifted dramatically. Last year Dems split 33/42 between cuts and “balance” while independents split 51/30. The indie numbers now have nearly flipped. It’s a crying shame that Gallup didn’t poll this question between then and now so that we could track how opinion changed over time. Was it a gradual change, starting maybe with the debt-ceiling standoff? Or did Obama’s campaign attacks on Romney and the rich paying their “fair share” move the numbers more? The only thing we can safely conclude is that Romney’s messaging about keeping taxes low on job creators in order to spur growth didn’t do the trick.

More data, this time from the national exit poll on election day:

That’s 60% support for raising taxes on “the rich,” which of course is what Boehner and House Republicans are agonizing over right now. He’s said repeatedly that he’s open to new revenue but not new taxes, but some in the GOP caucus aren’t so sure everyone’s on board with that. Especially if the top bracket moves from $250,000+ to $1 million and up:

It’s not that they’re about to fully embrace President Barack Obama’s tax hikes, but many Republican lawmakers privately concede that the 2012 election left them with far short of a mandate on taxes, and if urged by Democrats to raise rates on what they dub the mega-wealthy, they will have a tough time resisting…

Some higher-ranking Republicans, including South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott, who was elected to leadership for a second term last week, say they know lawmakers look like they could buckle on a million-dollar threshold.

“Oh, absolutely,” Scott said when asked if some of his fellow Republicans will support the increase. “People are actually coming out saying that.” Scott said he would oppose tax hikes even if the threshold is raised.

Why are Republicans wavering? Because of the numbers above, but also because of this:

We could kick around theories on why the GOP would get the blame but I think the root of it is in O’s message. When voters hear that Obama wants “balance,” it sounds moderate and sensible even though Democratic leaders are seemingly uninterested in the most crucial, sensible component of any prospective Grand Bargain. So the GOP ends up staring at -30 with indies on the blame question if a stalemate carries us off the cliff, which would be bad news given how worried people are about the consequences. A recent Gallup poll found that 82% say it’s extremely or very important to make a deal before the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts take effect. In the Pew poll, 68% expect that falling off the cliff would have a major effect on the economy and 62% expect it’ll be negative. Interesting footnote: In both polls, Republicans are more concerned about the impact than Democrats or independents. In Gallup, 88% say it’s extremely or very important to make a deal; in Pew, 79% say the cliff will have a negative effect on the economy. I assume both are a product of GOPers worrying about the tax-hike part of the equation more than Dems or indies.

Anyway, if you want to know why some House caucus members are toying with the idea of raising rates on millionaires, that’s why. Exit question: Can anyone square this result, also from the national exit poll, with any of the above? I realize voters aren’t always consistent in their choices, but c’mon.


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Comment pages: 1 2

No deductions. 50 % of gross across the board. Let the f*#kers in Congress pay their “fair share” Pay tax on the value of chauffered automobiles. Pay tax on the value of provided offices. Pay tax on the value of every effing thing those pigs get.

Mr. Grump on November 16, 2012 at 8:14 AM

How about this: why doesn’t someone just show the numbers on tax hikes that demonstrate how little the effect wold be on the debt/deficit if we raised taxes on all households with a $200K+ income by, say, 25% – or some number well above whatever has been proposed by either side. I expect the change to the debt/deficit will be extremely small.

Then show the effect of cutting spending – this should have a significant effect.

Show the two examples side-by-side ALL THE TIME.

sultanp on November 16, 2012 at 7:54 AM

It doesn’t matter, the rich must pay their fair share, and fair share just means more. There is no endpoint on how much more. It has nothing to do with reducing the deficit, and everything to do with envy.

Dasher on November 16, 2012 at 8:14 AM

I don’t suppose supporters of the “balanced” approach realize it’s going to be all tax, and no cuts. They probably won’t care anyway.

littleguy on November 16, 2012 at 8:18 AM

Gallop?
Really?
What’s next…Rasmussen?

greataunty on November 16, 2012 at 8:18 AM

The real problem with balanced approaches: Tax increases are real, and spending cuts only cut the increase in spending a little. So little it has no effect.

Dasher on November 16, 2012 at 8:22 AM

Republican credo: “if you don’t succeed the first time . . . give up”.

rplat on November 16, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Stop governing by the polls!

Kissmygrits on November 16, 2012 at 8:53 AM

A plurality of neo-cons favor complete surrender and compromise on all and any deeply held beliefs. Social cons, not so much. Principles be damned, we must evolve and progress after all, this generation is a whole lot smarter than our ancestors. Gotta love this belly button staring mentality. It’s bound to work sometime, the odds are in their favor.

Fuquay Steve on November 16, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Let them go up. The tax rates can always be lowered after the next election. Close loopholes and deduction, and let the top rate go up. America can witness first hand how the amount of tax revenue collected by the treasury decreases despite higher rates.

HarryBackside on November 16, 2012 at 9:48 AM

I don’t suppose supporters of the “balanced” approach realize it’s going to be all tax, and no cuts. They probably won’t care anyway.

littleguy on November 16, 2012 at 8:18 AM

That’s why the GOP should abandon spending cuts if they are going to agree to raising rates. When the tax rate increases fail to bring any additional revenue to the treasury, and the economy slows down, the left will frame the debate by blaming cuts to government spending as the cause of the problem.

HarryBackside on November 16, 2012 at 9:53 AM

It’s nonsense. The proposed tax hikes on the rich yield $80 billion a year. The deficit is $1500 billion a year. So what’s this BS about “balancing”? $80 billion in tax hikes, and $1420 billion in spending cuts? OK, I’ll go for that.

Paul-Cincy on November 15, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Stop trying to use logic to win your argument. We tried that already, and failed. The majority of the public don’t want to hear your well reasoned, and logical argument. They won’t be ready to even consider your point of view until they have felt the crushing, overwhelming weight of leftist policies.

Tax rate increases. Eliminate loopholes. No budget cuts. Pain.

HarryBackside on November 16, 2012 at 10:01 AM

We just had an election to show that a plurality is clueless and selfish. I could really care less what the majority thnks is good economic policy as far as what I think the country needs and I am sure the board mostly agrees. Populism = Misery.

Conan on November 16, 2012 at 10:42 AM

A lot of apes will be unpleasantly surprised when they see their taxes go up. The apes believe that only “da rich” will catch it. Imagine the shock when Obama leads the way to a middle class screwing. Best part, the revenue will come in one door and be spent and go out the other with the speed of light. Wait a year or two and the thieves in washington will reprise the whole farce.

arand on November 16, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Balanced approach to deficit reduction? Immaterial. Our economy relies on the $Trillion+ in annual deficit spending, some 7% of GDP. And EVERY politician knows this.

The real game is how to create the facade of deficit reduction progress while maintaining Trillion Dollar deficits until the Frankeneconomy comes back to life. That’s what all the fiscal cliff panic really is – concern of a 5% drop in GDP if we actually erase $700 Billion from the deficit.

Obama can demand that the millionaresandbillionares pay an additional $40 Billion, $50 Billion or even $80 Billion in new taxes. It’s all good, because with so small a tax increase and with as little spending cuts as we’ll ultimately see, we will maintain our $Trillion in borrow-and-spend economic stimulus.

Best of all, any new revenue will serve ONLY to support GREATER borrowing. The Federal Government collects about $2.3 Trillion in revenue against $16 Trillion in Debt. That’s like a Boomer with a $50,000 salary sporting $350,000 in unsecured debt. What does that Boomer do with every raise? He spends even more and gets further into debt. So does our government.

Uncle Sugar will take every penny it can from the millionareasandbillionares while driving Corporate America out of profitability altogether (preferring their role as a modern-day WPA instead of for wealth production), and will leverage every dollar of new revenue into seven of new debt.

Who then will pay off that debt? Look in the mirror.

shuzilla on November 16, 2012 at 11:44 AM

The GOP needs to grow a set and tell people they don’t care about statistics. They will control the House for 2 years and will be blasted at every turn during that time. So, why not make a statement now and see how things turn out. If it means the end to all the Bush tax cuts, so be it. If sequestration goes forward as plan, then fair enough. The GOP still has leverage when it comes to the debt ceiling and the budget. No increase to the ceiling without detailed entitlement reforms. The government will shut down without a Democratic budget.
Use these two talking points and see how the people respond. Most people will cut through the liberal media BS and see the truth out there. At least the Democrats will finally put something concrete on the table that has to pass their chamber. In addition, the GOP should tell everyone they will not get paid in the interim, either. (This could have the same effect as Obama’s “millionaires like me” talking point.)

djaymick on November 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Gallup: Plurality now supports “balanced approach” of tax hikes and spending cuts to reduce deficit

A “plurality” doesn’t even understand the issue.

Akzed on November 16, 2012 at 1:34 PM

How about adding language to automatically and retroactively repeal any tax increases if specified cuts in spending are not realized.

Laurence on November 16, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Can we retroactively vote again- with different results, of course.

Fuquay Steve on November 16, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Boehner’s so called plurality must be coming from the same old RINO’s and the Democrats, which is all this idiot listens to. Stupidity compounded by idiocy continues to rule the land.

savage24 on November 16, 2012 at 4:03 PM

If we really want to put a stick in the spending wheel, don’t spend any discretionary money this Christmas season. See how long they keep up the tax and spend drumbeat if the 48% of the population that voted for Romney don’t show up in the stores. It has the bonus of being the only thing that we can really do that will have any effect at this point.

claudius on November 16, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Count me in for not caring. Let Obama kill the economy.

Daemonocracy on November 16, 2012 at 6:51 PM

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