How to Fix the Deficit? Most Americans Say Tax the Rich

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If a new survey from the CBS show “60 Minutes” and Vanity Fair magazine is to be believed, more than 60 percent of Americans believe that we should tax the rich to reduce the deficit.

Respondents were given four options to balance the federal budget:

  • Tax the rich
  • Cut defense
  • Cut Medicare
  • Cut Social Security

Not surprisingly, 61 percent chose taxing the rich. Twenty percent chose reducing defense spending, four percent favored cutting Medicare and only three percent chose reducing Social Security.

Also no surprise: fewer people with bigger incomes favored taxing the rich, although 46 percent of people who said they made over $100,000 still went with this option.

What we want and what we get, of course, are often different. In a CBS News poll in early December, 53 percent of respondents favored letting the Bush tax cuts expire for Americans making more than $250,000/yr. versus only 26 percent who wanted them to continue for everyone. As we all now know, however, that’s exactly what happened: even the wealthiest Americans got an extension of lower rates, as well as other tax breaks.

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Comments & discussion

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  • Anonymous

    Why are we not hiring people (creating new jobs) to clean up all the fraud (saving tons of money) within the medicare, IRS, etc.. systems? I continually hear on the news about IRS fraud where the inmates are filing tax returns and getting all this money back and the IRS has done nothing to stop it. Just one example. Another, the fake store fronts setting up shop to bill medicare. Surely we could save a ton of money but getting rid of all the fraud.

  • http://twitter.com/alienmindtrick Jim Chatman

    It would seem that there’s a complete inability to connect the dots between what the Republicans have been saying about Congress’s disconnect from the American people and the legislation they back. They have stonewalled, filibustered, dallied, dragged their feet and become the Party of No for the last 2 years all for the purpose of extending the Bush tax cuts while simultaneously ignoring the will of the people they purport to serve. But let’s clear the mud off the windshield and look at the facts. Whose bidding are they truly doing? That of the wealthiest Americans. How is it that the smallest percentage of voters gets their way, but the mass of the remainder get smiled at, patted on the head by the condescending Republican elite, and told to shut up and eat their porridge. Why? Because the Average American can’t give Mr Former Republican Congressman a multi-million-dollar-per-year job when he leaves the Congress, all after years of doing the bidding of their ultra-wealthy masters. I almost puked when I watched John Boehner cry. I’m a veteran of 13 years. I spent that time in defense of my country and our way of life and here comes this Dean-Martin-wannabe catering to his country club buddies while shafting working-class Americans with their tax cuts. I’m embarrassed to admit that I ever pulled the lever for a Republican, but it’ll be a cold day in hell before I ever do again, and I consider myself an independent.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RNI3ULVB6X5TQIAYG5BWN3VSQ4 Michael

    Surveys depend on the how the questions are asked. I wrote to my Senator asking him to vote against the food safety act because we don’t need federal police like the FDA to be harassing small farmers and his response was it won’t increase the deficit. That is mind set in Washington. If the FDA doesn’t have enough to do it should be cut back. Everything should be cut. Governement jobs don’t stimulate the economy.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MPSO6VJCWRSYBL4KEE4IEVBMM4 D.

    why is it most people want to tax just the rich? They pay way more percentage wise than anyone. Don’t you think that everyone in this country should pay a fair share? Rich and poor alike? Why do married without kids have to pay more? Why do those with kids get so many deductions and lump sums off the top? We need a fair tax and everyone pays something EVERYONE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sariah-Armstrong/63603142 Sariah Armstrong

    I’d say two things.  One, either get rid of or fix Social Security.  We hear all the time about how the money is going to run out and blah blah blah.  So if the money is going to run out before I get any of the benefits, I’m essentially throwing away 15% of every paycheck.  (I’m an independent contractor so I have to pay all of it, not just half.)

    Secondly, have everyone who lives above the poverty line pay 2% tax.  1% for State, 1% for Federal, no loopholes, no exceptions, THE END.  And then we wouldn’t need the IRS anymore, or a large part of it.  Now, I’m really hoping the IRS doesn’t spend as much money as I’ve heard, but it would still probably save lots of money.