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Taxes

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    Debt and Deficit: A Public Opinion Dilemma

    The issue of the debt and the deficit – and what to do about it – has paralyzed Washington lawmakers. But when it comes to measures for reducing the deficit on which they might reach common ground, they will get little help in building support for an agreement by turning to public opinion. In my […]

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    For the Public, It’s Not about Class Warfare, But Fairness

    Income inequality has become a major issue in the presidential campaign. A recent Pew Research Center poll, for example, attracted wide attention when it found that as many as 66% of Americans believe there are “very strong” or “strong” conflicts between the rich and the poor, an increase of 19 percentage points since 2009. But […]

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    Tax System Seen as Unfair, in Need of Overhaul

    Overview Public dissatisfaction with the tax system has grown over the past decade, and the focus of the public’s frustration is not how much they themselves pay, but rather the impression that wealthy people are not paying their fair share. The number of Americans who feel they pay more than their fair share in federal […]

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    Bush Lost Battle Over the Surplus, But Won Tax Cut War

    A decade ago, Washington grappled with a problem that seems unreal in today’s economic climate – what to do with the budget surplus? In 2000, George W. Bush had campaigned on a pledge to return part of the surplus to taxpayers in the form of an across-the-board tax cut. Bush’s opponent, Al Gore, countered with […]

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    Tax Cuts Win Broad Bipartisan Support

    Overview The agreement between President Obama and congressional Republicans to extend tax cuts and unemployment benefits is getting strong bipartisan support. Overall, 60% approve of the agreement while just 22% disapprove. There are virtually no partisan differences in opinions about the agreement – 63% of Democrats approve of it, as do 62% of Republicans and […]

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    Deficit Solutions Meet With Public Skepticism

    Overview In many respects, there is a broad public consensus when it comes to the federal budget deficit: seven-in-ten say it is a major problem that must be addressed right away, and roughly two-thirds say that the best way to reduce the deficit is through a combination of cutting major government programs and increasing taxes. […]

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    Mixed Views of GOP Proposals on Entitlements

    Overview The public has sharply different reactions to major changes in Social Security and Medicare programs being proposed by some leading Republicans. While a majority favors a proposal to allow some private investments in Social Security, there is considerably less support for the idea of ending Medicare and replacing it with a system of vouchers […]

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    Obama’s Policies Seen as Better than Bush’s for Improving the Economy

    Overview While most Americans disapprove of Barack Obama’s handling of the economy, far more think his administration’s policies – rather than those of the Bush administration – would do more to improve economic conditions over the next few years. As Congress gears up for debate over the tax cuts passed when Bush was president, the […]

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    A Barometer of Modern Morals

    These edicts represent the collective judgment of the American public when asked to assess the moral dimensions of different kinds of behaviors.

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