A new Washington Post/Bloomberg poll asked Americans whether they would support or oppose a variety of ideas to reduce the budget deficit. Unppoular ideas were pretty much what you expect: raising taxes on the middle class, reducing Social Security benefits, and reducing Medicare benefits. But a couple of ideas enjoyed broader support — most of the public approves of reducing military spending and a large majority (68%) wants to see tax increases on those who make $250,000 or more per year. Even 54% majority of GOP voters support raising taxes on the wealthy.
I often wonder what polls GOP leaders read when they say that raising taxes on the wealthy isn't popular.
Meanwhile, we have a vote tonight on the American Jobs Act. Most Americans support its provisions; it enjoys strong support from economists; it includes ideas from both parties; and the CBO found it will even lower the deficit over the next decade. All told, the plan would likely add about 1.9 million jobs to an economy that desperately needs them.
And yet, it won't pass:
Democrats would need all 53 of their members to vote yes along with seven Republicans, and already three members of the Democratic caucus have said they will vote no. Sen. Joseph Manchin of West Virginia questions the effectiveness of the package, wondering whether we'll get the bang from the buck. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., both don't like the way Democratic leaders have proposed to pay for this bill with a new 5.6 percent surtax on any personal income over $1 million. They say that this is not the time to be raising taxes on anyone, including millionaires.
I guess that begs a question: "Why isn't this a time to be raising taxes on millionaires?"
The answer, of course, is "because it's an election year", and candidates – Democrats and Republicans – hope for some large contributions from the richies.
We really have to get money out of pollitics. It's why we can't fix anything.