Survey: More Americans Support Tax Package

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) –  Americans are more likely to back the new tax cut agreement reached by President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders than oppose it, according to surveys from two market research companies.

Gallup reports that 49% of Americans support the package, while 32% do not and 18% have no opinion on the matter. Support rises to 60% of Americans who said they were following the news about the agreement very or somewhat closely, the company said on Tuesday.

Gallup’s poll, conducted in partnership with USA Today, is based on telephone interviews with 1,019 Americans, ages 18 and over. The survey was conducted between Dec. 10 and Dec. 12.

Pew’s research, meanwhile, used a virtually identical methodology and found that 60% of the American public approves of the agreement, while only 22% disapprove.

Additionally, the survey found there were virtually no partisan differences in opinions about the agreement. For example, 63% of professed Democrats approve of it, as do 62% of Republicans and 60% of independents.

The $858 billion bill passed the Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 81-19, and the House is set to vote on the bill on Thursday. The package represents a bipartisan compromise in which the Obama administration agreed to extend cuts for households earning $250,000 or more a year, while Republicans agreed to extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months.

Both surveys attributed the widespread public support to the pressures that caused the two political parties to forge the agreement to begin with.

According to Gallup, results to followup questions indicate that the public tilts toward the president's position that the wealthy should be excluded from the tax-cut extension. However, given the choice between extending tax cuts for all versus letting them expire for all, Americans prefer extending tax cuts for everyone.

“Americans tend to mirror the position on the agreement taken by President Obama and other Democrats who support it: That it is not optimal, but acceptable if the choice is the agreement or nothing,” the company said.

Want to know more about how Americans feel about the tax cuts? Read some responses from the Voices of MainStreet.

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