The latest CBS News poll asked national respondents whether they’d support higher taxes on millionaires to lower the deficit. The results weren’t exactly close.


Yes, raise taxes on millionaires: 64%
No, don’t raise taxes on millionaires: 30%

Among Democrats:

Yes: 83%
No: 13%

Among Independents:

Yes: 65%
No: 28%

Among Republicans :

Yes: 40%
No: 54%

Remember, among congressional Republicans, even talking about this represents some kind of dangerous “class warfare” that threatens to hurt the economy and pit Americans against one another. The fact that President Obama has actually proposed such a change in tax policy puts him, in the GOP’s eyes, slightly to the left of Karl Marx.

And yet, it appears “class warfare” is pretty popular with the American mainstream. When 40% of self-identified Republicans endorse a tax increase on the very wealthy, it suggests we’re talking about an idea with fairly broad support.

The same poll found more Americans believing that the tax increases will improve job creation, rather than hurt it.

Why are Democrats, from President Obama on down, so unafraid of this issue? Because they’ve seen polls like this one, and know most Americans agree with them.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.