Nov. 13, 2012

Broad Concern about ’Fiscal Cliff’ Consequences

As the president and congressional leaders begin negotiations to avoid the “fiscal cliff” deadline at the end of the year, there is widespread public concern about the possible financial consequences. More say the automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January would have a major effect on the U.S. economy […]

Jul. 16, 2012

Raising Taxes on Rich Seen as Good for Economy, Fairness

By two-to-one (44% to 22%), the public says that raising taxes on incomes above $250,00o would help the economy rather than hurt it, while 24% say this would not make a difference. Moreover, an identical percentage (44%) says a tax increase on higher incomes would make the tax system more fair, while just 21% […]

Mar. 2, 2012

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 […]

Dec. 20, 2011

Tax System Seen as Unfair, in Need of Overhaul

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 […]

Nov. 17, 2011

Section 3: The Deficit and the Super Committee

As the Nov. 23 deadline approaches for the congressional “super committee” to offer a deficit reduction proposal, the public continues to rank the budget deficit second to the job situation among its top national economic concerns. At the same time, 62% of Americans say the best approach to deficit reduction would include both spending cuts […]

Jul. 26, 2011

Section 2: The Debt and Deficit Debate

A week ahead of the Aug. 2 debt-ceiling deadline, the public overwhelmingly wants political leaders in Washington to compromise on the issue. About two-thirds (68%) say that lawmakers who share their views should be willing to compromise, even if it means striking a deal they disagree with. Only 23% say lawmakers who share their views […]

May. 4, 2011

Section 7: The Budget Deficit, Taxes, Spending and Entitlements

With Republicans winning a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives on a wave of anti-government sentiment, the political focus in Washington has turned to government spending and deficit reduction. Yet while most Americans agree that deficit reduction should be a top priority this year, it is not universally seen as the most pressing economic […]

Dec. 13, 2010

Tax Cuts Win Broad Bipartisan Support

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 […]

Dec. 7, 2010

Section 1: Issues Before the Lame-Duck Congress

Weeks before tax cuts passed during George W. Bush’s first term are set to expire, most of the public has heard either a lot (38%) or a little (43%) about the debate in Washington over how to handle these cuts. Much of this debate focuses on whether to extend all of the tax cuts or […]

Sep. 20, 2010

Taxed Enough Already?

Apr. 18, 2010

Section 3: Government Challenges, Views of Institutions

While the public is highly critical of government, there is a widespread acknowledgement that government faces more daunting problems today than it did in the past. The public also puts some blame on itself: Most say Americans are unwilling to pay for the things they want government to do. For the most part, people do […]

Mar. 16, 2009

Section 2: The Policy Agenda

A month after President Obama signed the economic stimulus bill, most Americans (56%) express a positive view of the nearly $800 billion package. Slightly more than a third (35%) says the legislation is a bad idea. In early February, the Pew Research Center asked a similar question only of those who said they had heard […]