Majority Opposes Boehner’s Billionaire Bailout – Wants Bush’s Tax Cuts for the Rich to Expire

A new Gallup poll finds that 44 percent of Americans oppose the “billionaire bailout” — meaning they want George Bush’s temporary tax cuts for everyone who makes under $250,000 to be extended, while returning the tax rate on the wealthy to the Clinton-era rate.

Thirty-seven percent favor House Republican Leader John Boehner’s demand that all Bush tax cuts be extended, including the breaks for the super-rich.

Just 15 percent want all the tax cuts to expire, regardless of income level.

Among Democrats, 60 percent oppose bailing out rich people by preserving the tax break for those who earn over $250,000. Among Republicans, 54 percent support tax cuts both for the wealthy and the under classes. Independents are nearly split, with 41 percent supporting ending the break for the rich and 39 percent in favor of preserving it.

Pres. Obama has proposed making the tax cuts on all incomes under $250,000 permanent, but Boehner and the Republicans oppose making the cuts permanent if the wealthy are not included.

Known officially as the “Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001,” the Bush tax cuts had to be passed under the “reconciliation process” because government budget analysts found that the cuts would add to the deficit:

One of the most notable characteristics of [the Bush tax cuts] is that its provisions are designed to sunset, or revert to the provisions that were in effect before it was passed. [The tax cuts] will sunset on January 1, 2011 unless further legislation is enacted to make its changes permanent. The sunset provision sidesteps the Byrd Rule, a Senate rule that amends the Congressional Budget Act to allow senators to block a piece of legislation if it purports to significantly increase the federal deficit beyond a ten-year term. The sunset allowed the bill to stay within the letter of the PAYGO law while removing nearly $700 billion from amounts that would have triggered PAYGO sequestration

Because the reconciliation process was used, the cuts were passed in the GOP-controlled Senate in 2001 without the usual 60 vote requirement. The bill passed with 58 votes. Most Democrats voted “nay,” as did two Republicans, liberal Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Arizona Sen. John McCain, who was still smarting from losing the Republican presidential primary to Bush just a year earlier.

Gallup’s bottom line: “Gallup has typically found Americans unsympathetic to the argument that upper-income Americans are overtaxed. They generally believe upper-income Americans pay too little in taxes and favor higher taxes on wealthy Americans as a means to fund government programs, such as Social Security.”


  • September 10, 2010 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    The idea that upper income Americans are “overtaxed” is absolutely insane. The rich have gotten richer while everyone else has gotten poorer.

    Tax cuts for the rich do not help the economy – that much has been proven obvious since 1980.

  • David
    September 10, 2010 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Since 2000 US citizen capital investments in foreign countries have increased from 1.3 trillion to 3.2 trillion. Tax cuts for the wealthy absolutely trickle down – they trickle down to Brazil, India and China.

  • ordaj
    September 11, 2010 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Trickle down economics is a sign that America has a urinary tract infection and needs to be healed. It’s a leak and needs to be cured.

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