Most Americans back 'Buffett tax': Reuters/Ipsos

Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:40pm EDT

1 of 2. U.S. Investor Warren Buffett laughs during a news conference in Madrid May 21, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Andrea Comas

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(Reuters) - Nearly two-thirds of Americans support imposing a minimum tax rate of 30 percent on those who earn $1 million or more a year, according to Reuters/Ipsos poll results released on Tuesday.

The poll showed that 64 percent of those surveyed favored a "Buffett tax" as proposed by the Obama administration and named for multibillionaire investor Warren Buffett, who backs it.

The Sage of Omaha, as Buffett is sometimes known, has been a vocal advocate of higher taxes on the wealthy. Obama called for the new tax in his State of the Union speech in January.

Legislation has been filed by Democrats in Congress to enact the tax into law, but it was widely expected to languish this year with the U.S. House of Representatives under the control of Republicans who are opposed to tax increases of any kind.

The poll said that support for the Buffett tax was strongest among Democrats, at 76 percent, but also significant among Republicans, with 49 percent of them viewing it favorably.

"There is a tolerance with the American public for conversations about tax increases or changing the tax code in some way," Ipsos research director Chris Jackson said.

In a related issue, the poll said that 57 percent of Americans would support eliminating the tax deduction for mortgage interest if it resulted in a lower overall tax rate.

Once again, Democrats were more supportive, at 63 percent, while Republicans were less so, with 52 percent in support.

"People talk about taxes as if you even mention it, you're going to get run out of town on a rail, but these polling numbers indicate that Americans are actually interested in some taxes, particularly ones they think will not affect them."

The U.S. government's budget deficit is expected to swell to $1.17 trillion in the 2012 fiscal year ending in September, with some landmark decisions on tax and spending policy awaiting Congress after the November elections.

The U.S. tax code has not been overhauled in 25 years. Since then it has become riddled with deductions, exemptions and other special provisions - such as the mortgage interest deduction - that deprive the government of more than $1 trillion a year.

Most budget experts agree that addressing the deficit situation will require cuts in spending and tax changes.

The March 8-11 telephone poll surveyed 1,084 adults nationwide and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, Ipsos said.

(Reporting By Kevin Drawbaugh; Editing by Howard Goller and Paul Simao)

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Comments (3)
AlkalineState wrote:
‘”Most Americans back ‘Buffett tax’: Reuters/Ipsos”

Of course they do. The rich should be taxed at the same rate as working people. Working people pay 35%. Mitt Romney paid 14%. This is why the GOP will lose in a give-away election year. Their remaining 3 frontrunners don’t back the Buffet Tax because they are a lame trio of one very rich guy and two very stupid guys. Their choice. Their loss.

Mar 13, 2012 6:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Iacomus wrote:
You simpletons! The big money is with the Middle Class. That is where it
will come from and all you can do is smile and enjoy getting separated from what
little you have saved. The rich will be re-defined as YOU!

Mar 13, 2012 9:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:
lacomus warns: “You simpletons! The big money is with the Middle Class. That is where it will come from and all you can do is smile and enjoy getting separated from what little you have saved. The rich will be re-defined as YOU!”

The middle class pays 30-35% income tax. The wealthiest 1% pays 15% income tax. The wealthy do not dispute this. Romney says he paid 14% in 2010. Says if the middle class wants a lower tax rate, they get rich like him. So the heavier burden is ALREADY on the middle class….. genius. Go ahead and keep your pants down for Mitt if you want, but I’m ready cut the old boy off the love wagon and flattten the tax out.

Mar 14, 2012 12:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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