Why Democrats Are Willing to Walk Off the Fiscal Cliff
Less than 24 hours after Democrats publicly pronounced their willingness to jump off the so-called fiscal cliff later this year if Republicans refuse to drop their opposition to ending tax cuts for certain income levels, they got a bit of good news: the public is on their side.
A cliff. Not a fiscal one. BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/GettyImagesForty-four percent of people in a new Pew Research Center poll said that a tax increase on incomes over $250,000, which is what President Obama and congressional Democrats are pushing, would help the economy, while 22 percent said it would hurt the economy.
Similarly, 41 percent of Pew respondents said that raising taxes on income over $250,000 would make the tax system “more fair,” while 21 percent said it would make it “less fair”.
The numbers are even more encouraging for Obama (and Democrats more broadly) among independents when it comes to ending the Bush tax cuts for income over $250,000. By a more than two-to-one margin — 41 percent to 18 percent — political independents believe ending the tax cuts would be helpful to the economy.
And yet, as good as an issue as this for Obama among independents, it’s also a challenge for him: Many unaffiliated voters still aren’t entirely aware that Obama is the candidate pushing an end to tax cuts for income over $250,000.