Two Polls Confirm That People Want Tax Hikes in a Debt Deal, As if That Matters

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 14 2011 9:07 AM

Two Polls Confirm That People Want Tax Hikes in a Debt Deal, As if That Matters

Exhibit A: Gallup finds that only 20 percent of Americans want the debt limit deal to include only spending cuts, with no tax hikes.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Advertisement

Exhibit B: Gallup also finds that only 26 percent of Republicans -- Republicans! -- feel that way.

Exhibit C: Quinnipiac finds that only 25 percent of voters, albeit 48 percent of Republicans, believe the deal should include "include only spending cuts," while most believe it should "include an increase in taxes for the wealthy and corporations." The adherents of the latter position include 66 percent of independents and 67 percent of all voters.

And here's the beautiful trap that Democrats find themselves in. As it was in 2001, as it was at the end of 2010, higher tax rates on the rich and fewer loopholes for the advantaged (as opposed to tax giveaways for lower-income voters) are very popular. But the opposition party is resolutely against any tax cuts, ever. That doesn't just make it politically difficult to raise taxes. It shifts the reality in D.C. and the punditocracy. In polls, the Bernie Sanders position of a deal that's 50 percent tax hikes and 50 percent cuts is the most popular option -- 32 percent support in Gallup. In Washington, it's what the crazy socialist thinks -- the rest of us agree that you can't raise taxes.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 15 2014 4:38 PM What Is Straight Ice Cream?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.