NC Budget and Tax Center

The Voters Have Spoken: Increase Taxes on Incomes Over $250,000

As Congress continues to debate the best approach to reducing the federal debt and resolving the “fiscal slope” of looming tax increases and automatic spending scheduled for 2013, it’s critical to recognize that while everyone wants to “fix the debt,” the real questions are how to fix the debt, and who should pay to fix the debt.  Do we attempt to reduce the national debt through spending cuts alone, which would require eviscerating key public investments and core safety net programs in order to generate sufficient savings to make deficit reduction work? Or do we take a balanced approach that includes new revenues, along with smart spending cuts that spare programs vital to protecting the most vulnerable among us?

The American public has decisively answered this question during the recent election, choosing by overwhelming margins to support President Obama’s proposal to raise new revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.  According to a new survey by nationally acclaimed pollster Hart Research Associates, 61% of respondents support allowing the Bush Tax Cuts on incomes above $250,000 to expire at the end of the year, while simultaneously extending middle-class tax cuts on incomes below that threshold.   This includes 40% who strongly agree. At the same time, a strong majority of respondents (53%) rejected the proposal made by the US House of Representatives to hold the middle class tax cuts hostage to ensure passage of the tax cuts on incomes over $250,000. Only 42% supported blocking passage of the middle class tax cuts in order to secure passage of the tax cuts on incomes over $250,000 per year.

The Hart Associates survey reinforces the very similar findings of the exit polling conducted during the recent Presidential election—Americans support asking the wealthiest among us to contribute to fixing the national debt. For more details on the survey and its results, see the full polling memo here.


  1. Frank Burns

    November 20, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Yes the voters have spoken and Sen Kay Hagan is listening.

    “I need to be looking at what’s important in North Carolina, and you better believe that’s what I will do,” Hagan said.

    “Pressed on whether she could be persuaded to support the Republican position of extending the Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels, Hagan said, “I want to look at the whole package, but I definitely want to protect the middle-class taxpayer, first and foremost.”

    Read more:

  2. david esmay

    November 20, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Raise taxes, cut the bloated defense budget. SS, medicare, and medicaid should be off the table. We spend about 59 billion a year on traditional social welfare programs. 92 billion a year is spent on corporate subsidies. That means the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance. Defense spending takes up 20% of the national budget and nearly 30% of all tax revenue, by far the largest piece of the pie, our military budget accounts for 40% of global arms spending. Eisenhower was never more prescient than he is today. Decades of spoon feeding the monstrous military industrial complex and supply side economics have turned this country upside down.

  3. Frank Burns

    November 20, 2012 at 8:58 am

    David, I do think the defense budget could be cut as well but not to the levels that Jimmy Carter did and left us in a dangerous position. I would be in favor of cutting corporate subsidies, Congress put them into place to stimulate certain industries. I would also be in favor of cutting social welfare. We are now encouraging illegal aliens to get welfare. Does that make sense?

  4. david esmay

    November 20, 2012 at 10:02 am

    No, the poor, the elderly and children did not create the fiscal situation we are i and we should not try to balance budgets and eliminate deficits on their backs.

  5. Alex

    November 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    I hate to tell you david, but your figures are totally wrong. Welfare spending was $ 450 billion way back in 2008, and under Obama it has almost doubled to $800 billion. Food stamps alone are more than the figure that you cite. Go to US Gov Spending rates, and you will be amazed.

  6. david esmay

    November 21, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I hate to point this out Alex/Doug/Frances, but you’re lying again. Your figures are from a right wing blog , not an actual website of the government, treasury, or congressional budget office. Troll again.

  7. Alex

    November 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Simply google ” Welfare Spending in US” , and you will get the numbers david straight from the government site. A liberal always hates the facts.

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