Budget Battle: Americans Show Little Support For Higher Taxes

March 23, 2007

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) submitted his budget proposal last week. It claims to balance the budge by 2012 by making a number of assumptions about the coming years: namely, the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts by 2010.

Senate Republicans have released a flurry of material chastising the budget for imposing enormous tax increases on the Americans people. Supporters of the budget make the case that, technically, the expiration of a tax cut does not constitute a tax increase since there are no changes to existing law. Republicans say if it walks like a tax hike and quacks like a tax hike, it’s a tax hike.

But now the American people have spoken.

In a new poll released yesterday by the Tax Foundation and conducted by Harris Interactive, nine out of ten said federal income taxes were either “too high” or “just about right”. Only two-percent said they were “too low”.

Letting the tax cuts expire and driving up most Americans’ tax bills appears to starkly contradict the opinions of 90% of the country. A report we published last fall shows the savings (by state) as result of the tax cuts. All that would be erased in 2010 if nothing is done – and nothing is exactly what the budget plans to do.

In addition, when asked about taxes and government services, less than one in ten (8%) said they would like to see taxes raised and services increased. Nearly three quarters said to keep taxes and services where they are or lower services and lower taxes. Again, the American people either seem to be happy with their current level of taxation or would like to see it lowered.

Either way, there is certainly no mandate for a tax hike, the likes of which this country has never seen.

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