American mainstream calls for higher taxes

Gallup asked Americans what they’d like to see Congress do next on debt reduction. The top response in the newly-released poll: “Increasing income taxes for upper-income Americans.” A large 66% majority endorsed this move, including 45% of self-identified Republicans. No, that’s not a typo.

A new CNN poll asked the same question. Guess what was the most popular debt-reduction idea? “Increases in taxes on businesses and higher-income Americans,” which was backed by a 63% majority.

A McClatchy/Marist poll (pdf) released yesterday found that 68% of Americans support raising taxes on income over $250,000. In this survey, a majority of self-identified Republicans supported the idea.

Bruce Bartlett, a veteran of the Reagan and Bush administrations, has an updated list of 23 polls — all from the last nine months — which all show the same thing: consistent support from the American mainstream for higher taxes. The list isn’t selected — Bruce highlights (and links to) every poll he could find on this, and in each case, the margin was about 2-to-1 in support of tax increases for the wealthy.

As Bruce explained a month ago:

Contrary to Republican dogma, polls show that the American people strongly support higher taxes to reduce the deficit and improve income inequality.

This clearly isn’t what the congressional GOP had in mind. As debt-reduction talks got underway months ago, Republicans assumed they had the better hand — all they had to do, the party assumed, was say those rascally Democrats want to “raise taxes.” The public would recoil, Dems would back down, and all would be right with the world.

But it’s Democrats who are in sync with the public. Lately, it’s tough to get two-thirds of the country to agree on much, but they agree on raising taxes on the wealthy.

The GOP is an increasingly unpopular party, pushing an increasingly unpopular agenda. Here’s hoping Dems notice as the process moves forward.