A new Gallup poll finds that 66 percent of Americans support extending Bush tax cuts to all Americans for two years. The results contradict a CBS poll from last week, widely cited by Democrats, which found just 26 percent favored extendeding them to everybody. I imagine that the difference has to with how the questions were asked.
Gallup asked whether people would want to “Extend the federal income tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 for all Americans for two years.”
Yet CBS asked, “Which comes closest to your view about the tax cuts passed in 2001? 1. The tax cuts should be continued for everyone, 2. The tax cuts should only continue for households earning less than $250,000 a year, or 3. The tax cuts should expire for everyone.”
So, in the Gallup question tax cuts for “all Americans” comes off as the most equitable answer, whereas CBS frames it like a Goldilocks question in which the middle option is “just right.”
Also, another difference is that in the CBS question, there isn’t a time element, whereas the Gallup poll reflects the two year deal between President Obama and Republicans.
Meanwhile, another finding of the Gallup poll was that 66 percent (including 71 percent of independents) favored extension of unemployment benefits. As I argued earlier this week, the GOP was likely to cave on unemployment benefits anyway, but the deal they struck with Obama and taxes makes it a lot easier for them to justify.