Despite all of the grumbling in the press, most Americans are happy with the new tax deal, according to a CNN poll. Three in four of those polled said that they favored the bill when asked:

Congress has passed and President Obama has signed into law a bill that would extend tax cuts for all Americans, reduce the estate tax, extend unemployment benefits, and reduce the Social Security tax that workers pay. Taking into account all of those provisions, do you favor or oppose that bill?

Do my readers feel the same?

When asked about the specific provisions of the bill, most Americans favored tax cuts for families who make less than $250,000, the extension of unemployment benefits and the “payroll tax holiday.” Most Americans opposed a break for families who make more than $250,000, the estate tax break, and an increase in the deficit to pay for the bill.

Even with the tax breaks, most Americans surveyed believe that their families will be “about the same” in the next tax year and believe that the country will be “about the same.”

What do you think?

The same poll found that most Americans believe the bill did “too much” for upper-income Americans but “about right” for middle-class Americans. That might explain why President Obama’s approval rating shows that he’s lost support among liberals but has picked up approvals from moderates.

Interestingly, most Americans polled do not like GOP policy proposals, despite having voted Republicans back into office. That shows quite a fickleness among voters – or is it a matter of unrealistic expectations?

The new law generally takes effect January 1, 2011, though some pieces – like the AMT relief – will kick in sooner. I will offer some more comprehensive coverage in the next day or so (once these killer germs move on). Meanwhile, you can read the entire survey here (downloads as a pdf).

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Kelly Erb is a tax attorney, tax writer and podcaster.


  1. Christopher Ganiere Reply

    Why is it called a “tax-cut” when rates stay the same? The deal keeps rates the same as they have been since 2003.
    These “tax-hikes” that we avoid by this deal are rates that WJ Clinton signed into law and supposedly caused an economic boom.
    These media declared “tax cuts” are actually much higher than the original 1916 tax rates as well as the Reagan era tax rates.

  2. Had the “Tax Cut” not been passed the rate would have been higher. Therefor it is a tax cut. Also the SS Tax is cut (down from last year)

  3. Kelly,

    Had the congress passed what the president wanted keeping for the rates, higher for the folks that earn above $250,000, how much more did the GAO think that would bring in in taxes?


  4. These media declared “tax cuts” are actually much higher than the original 1916 tax rates as well as the Reagan era tax rates.

    Yes, they’re higher than two other years of the century of the income tax.

    They’re lower than rates during the other 90 or so years, though.

    What was your point, anyways?

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