Most Americans say tax rich to balance budget: poll

NEW YORK Mon Jan 3, 2011 11:15am EST

A man holds his envelopes as he waits in line to mail his family's income tax returns at a mobile post office near the Internal Revenue Service building in downtown Washington, April 15, 2010. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A man holds his envelopes as he waits in line to mail his family's income tax returns at a mobile post office near the Internal Revenue Service building in downtown Washington, April 15, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Most Americans think the United States should raise taxes for the rich to balance the budget, according to a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll released on Monday.

President Barack Obama last month signed into law a two-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for millions of Americans, including the wealthiest, in a compromise with Republicans.

Republicans, who this week take control of the House of Representatives, want to extend all Bush-era tax cuts "permanently" for the middle class and wealthier Americans. They are also demanding spending cuts to curb the $1.3 trillion deficit.

Sixty-one percent of Americans polled would rather see taxes for the wealthy increased as a first step to tackling the deficit, the poll showed.

The next most popular way -- chosen by 20 percent -- was to cut defense spending.

Four percent would cut the Medicare government health insurance program for the elderly, and 3 percent would cut the Social Security retirement program, the poll showed.

Asked which part of the world they would fix first, the largest proportion of respondents -- 36 percent -- chose Washington, compared with 23 percent who picked the Middle East and 14 percent who chose Haiti.

The poll included a random sample of 1,067 adults across the United States from November 29 to December 2. The margin of error may be plus or minus 3 percentage points, 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair said.

(Reporting by Kristina Cooke; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Peter Cooney)

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Comments (135)
RogerCfromSD wrote:
Appears the Liberal-Socialists in America have successfully indoctrinated 20% of Americans into thinking like Communists and fooling another 25% into believing in class warfare.

Jan 03, 2011 11:22am EST  --  Report as abuse
kbjj03 wrote:
Really….. the top 25% pay 86% of the federal income taxes. That has also increased since 1999 from about 83%. The bottom 50% pay 2.7%. Of course Liberal surveys like this are designed to show a particular outcome where cutting spending was not an option in the question. I started my business with money from my wife and I’s 401k accounts. Which was money we earned and saved responsibly. We paid the penalties and taxes on that also. We took risks that the people surveyed here would never take. 15 years later we have a good business. Why don’t all you whiners go out and take advantage of the gifts I give you. Like free food, education, housing, and try to use your brain to get ahead.

Jan 03, 2011 11:26am EST  --  Report as abuse
Asparro wrote:
If most Americans feel this way, why did they vote to put the Republicans in charge of congress?

Jan 03, 2011 11:26am EST  --  Report as abuse
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