Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Americans still want to tax the wealthy

According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, 60% of Americans support raising taxes on those making $250,000 or more -- a preference we saw throughout the election season.

Just 37% oppose raising taxes on the well-to-do.

Meanwhile, by 49%-44%, Americans oppose reducing income tax deductions.

Those numbers show exactly why Romney was never able to take a traditional GOP advantage (taxes) and run with it.

In the past, Republicans have had a head-start on any argument about taxes (much like national security) as voters assumed the GOP would be tougher on taxes and stronger on the military.

But Obama wiped out Romney's presumed advantage on taxes, partially because Romney's own wealth made voters dubious of his tax plans for those making less money and partially because of a backlash against the the idea that across-the-board tax cuts are powerful drivers of the economy. That perception, of course, was the product of the Bush years, the budget disaster, and the sinking economy.

In October, I wrote about Obama's tax advantage and during that time, he had opened up leads on 8 of the previous 10 polls on taxes. And this was after Romney's first debate!

The big question going forward -- is the "tax the wealthy" thing an ephemeral reflection of a unique set of circumstances or is the mindset here to stay?