Break The Tax Pledge To Avoid The Fiscal Cliff? Americans Divide On How To React

Break The Tax Pledge To Avoid The Fiscal Cliff? Americans Divide On How To React

(Week of 11/23/2012)  238 House members and 41 Senators, nearly all Republican, have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, vowing to oppose all tax increases while in office. As the country moves closer to a "fiscal cliff" that would require automatic large budget cuts and tax increases, some are rethinking that pledge. But in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, Americans aren’t sure how to react to these changes. Nearly one in three (31%) thinks anyone who breaks the pledge should be criticized for that shift. But nearly as many (28%) think they should be congratulated for their willingness to address the country’s budget problems. And slightly more (29%) thought it would depend on the type of tax increase representatives support. Opinions are vaguely partisan. 40% of Republicans think there should be criticism. 35% of Democrats would congratulate those who change. But almost half (48%) of Republicans seem willing to countenance at least some tax increases — either saying those who change should be congratulated or waiting until they see what the tax increase looks like.

In last week’s Economist/YouGov Poll, most Americans seemed willing to accept some tax increases as part of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.

More Americans favor the Taxpayer Protection pledge in principle than oppose (45% to 37%); Republicans favor it overwhelmingly (62% to 21%). One reason the tax pledge may have such support is that many Americans don’t think additional revenue is necessary. 39% believe that the current amount of annual revenue is enough to fund the federal government’s responsibilities. Half of Democrats think that more revenue is needed compared with only 16% of Republicans.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association