New Poll: Americans Increasingly More Concerned With Economic Opportunity Than Taxing the Rich
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Americans Increasingly More Concerned With Economic Opportunity Than Taxing the Rich
New Poll Shows Majority Of Americans Say Federal Government Hurts Economic Growth
Arlington, VA – As millions of Americans finalize their income tax returns, Public Notice’s new poll finds that when it comes to tax increases on the wealthy, Americans are more concerned about Washington creating opportunities for the poor and middle class rather than focusing on the rich.
Confidence among voters remains low when it comes to the state of the economy. Less than one-third (32%) of voters believe that the economy is getting better, while a majority feel the economy is getting worse or staying the same. The survey, conducted by the Tarrance Group, found voters consider the federal government to be detrimental to economic growth.
Gretchen Hamel, executive director of Public Notice, said the following:
“Americans are growing increasing alarmed by the massive federal debt, growing to nearly $50 thousand per every man, woman and child in America. It’s time for Congress to stop nibbling around the edges and to start with real cuts to spending now because we cannot tax our way out of a debt that is over $15.5 trillion.
“The Senate defeated the so-called “Buffett Rule,” and the polling my organization conducted makes it clear that voters are skeptical of Washington using a new tax like this to pay down the $15.6 trillion deficit.”
- Optimism is low when it comes to where the economy is headed, as only 32% of Americans say it is getting better. A similar percentage say the economy is getting worse (30%), while a plurality (37%) believes the economy is just staying about the same.
- With this in mind, voters are not expecting the government to improve the economy, as a majority (52%) of voters say the federal government hurts economic growth. Only 38% say growth is helped by the federal government.
- Government spending continues to be a top concern of voters. Nearly eight in ten (79%) say the overall level of government spending is extremely or very important to them, and another 79% place the same level of importance on the amount of federal debt. Intensity in concern over the debt has increased, with 54% today saying the debt is extremely important compared with 50% in January.
- Concern over spending could be explained by the high level of waste voters perceive in government. When asked to name a percentage, voters say that 47% of each federal dollar is wasted.
- After being informed that President Obama has proposed raising taxes on anyone making at least $1 million per year, most voters say any additional revenue from the tax increase should go to paying down the debt and deficit. However, most voters believe President Obama would do the opposite:
- When it comes to tax increases on the wealthy, voters are more concerned about opportunity for the poor and middle class than they are about the rich. A plurality (44%) finds it more concerning that there are too few opportunities for the poor and middle class to become rich, while fewer (39%) find it more concerning that there are too many opportunities for the rich to become richer.
This poll was conducted via telephone April 9-12 and the results noted above are from 800 registered “likely” voters across the country. Margin of error on a sample of this type is +/- 3.5%.
To view the memo and the results of this poll, please click here.
Public Notice is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to providing the facts and insights on the effects public policy has on Americans’ financial well-being.