Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Support Obama/GOP Tax Cut Deal
While extremists in both parties are pushing for rejection of the tax cut deal between President Obama and the GOP, a new poll shows that the vast majority of Americans favor it:
About seven in 10 Americans back the tax deal negotiated last week by President Obama and congressional Republicans, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The high bipartisan support for the package masks more tepid public approval for some of the main components of the agreement that comes before a key Senate vote this afternoon.
A slender 11 percent of those polled back all four of the deal’s primary tax provisions: an across-the-board extension of Bush-era tax cuts, additional jobless benefits, a payroll tax holiday and a $5 million threshold for inheritance taxes. Just 38 percent support even two of the components.
But put all four items together, and 69 percent of all Americans support the package. Large majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents alike favor the agreement, which has drawn stiff opposition from some Democrats in the House. In the poll, 69 percent of liberal Democrats support the agreement, which Obama has called a framework for legislation.
Even when primary objections to the pact are mentioned – that it would add about $900 billion to the federal budget deficit and that it extends tax breaks to the wealthy – 62 percent of all those polled support the package.
Broad public support for the agreement comes despite only modest expectations that the tax cuts will help lift the struggling national economy. About twice as many see the deal as making things better than see it hurting the economy over the next year or two (36 vs. 17 percent), but just 9 percent think it will improve things a “great deal.” Nearly half say the tax cuts won’t make much of a difference or express no opinion on the question.
Overall, expectations for the deal are similar to assessments of the effect of the 2009 stimulus. But unlike public opinion on that Democratic initiative, both support for and skepticism about the new tax agreement cross party lines.
In previous polling, many Democrats, but few Republicans, said the stimulus package helped the economy. By contrast, 39 percent of Democrats, 36 percent of independents and 34 percent of Republicans say they think the tax agreement will help the nation’s economy.
The deal faces its first test vote in the Senate today where it is expected to pass. The real test will be in the House of Representatives.