POLL: As Fiscal Cliff Approaches, Public Favors Tax Cuts, Opposes More Government Spending

December 6, 2012
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LESS GOVERNMENT: Most Americans believe cutting taxes will do more to stimulate the economy than more federal spending, according to a new poll

DENVER – Just 19 percent of Americans support additional government spending to stimulate the sputtering economy, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Thursday, with a whopping 62 percent of respondents opposed.

Not surprisingly, just 8 percent of Republicans expressed support for more spending, while 83 percent were opposed.

Democrats too, however, registered opposition to higher government spending by large margin, with just 30 percent in favor of growing spending and 41 percent opposed.  Another 29 percent of Democrats said they were “not sure.”

Those who did not identify themselves as either Democrats or Republicans split 69 percent to 16 percent against more federal spending.

By comparison, more than half of the poll’s respondents, 53 percent, said government should cut taxes to kick-start the economy.  Twenty-six percent disagreed.

Republicans supported cutting taxes by a 70 to 17 margin in the poll.  Democrats also favored lower taxes, albeit by a slimmer 37 to 34 percent margin.

Those who did not identify with either party preferred lower taxes by a 57 to 25 percent spread.

In addition, respondents backed lower taxes by even larger margins when choosing between tax cuts or additional government spending as the best means for reviving the sagging economy.

When asked Which would do more to stimulate the economy today—new government spending or more tax cuts?”, some 60 percent chose tax cuts, while just 20 percent backed more government spending.

Once again, support was consistent across political lines.  Republicans chose lower taxes over more spending by an 82 to 9 percent margin.  Democrats backed tax cuts by a slimmer 6 point edge, 39 to 33 percent.

Those unaffiliated with either party supported tax cuts over higher spending by a spread of 64 to 15 percent.

“President Obama continues to misread his electoral success as a mandate to raise taxes on hardworking Americans,” said T.Q. Houlton, a spokesman for the free-market advocacy group Compass Colorado.  “[Congressional] Democrats know there is no appetite for higher taxes and more government spending, yet they’re only plan to fix our economy is to bankrupt taxpayers to feed their insatiable thirst for government spending.”

The Rasmussen survey polled 1,000 likely voters from December 4-5 and has a +/- 3 percentage point margin of error.

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