Americans of all income levels overwhelmingly favor raising taxes on the rich over any other method available to reduce the budget deficit, a new poll has found.
According to a survey conducted for Vanity Fair and CBS, 61 percent of Americans prefer increasing taxes on the wealthy as the first step to balancing the budget. By comparison, only 20 percent chose the second-most popular option — cutting defense spending.
Cutting Medicare and Social Security — the other two options — got four percent and three percent support, respectively.
Even among the relatively wealthy — those earning above $100,000 — 46 percent said they wanted to see tax hikes on the wealthy before any other steps were taken.
The poll suggests Republicans may find themselves taking an unpopular stance when they challenge President Obama and the Democrats on the issue of raising the debt ceiling, as they have vowed to do.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday he would work to block attempts to raise the debt ceiling if Democrats didn’t agree to Social Security reform. Coming as it did right after the GOP struck a deal with Obama to extend Bush-era tax cuts, at a cost of $858 billion, the move to reduce Social Security costs will likely be met with stiff opposition.
Austan Goolsbee, President Obama’s senior economic adviser, on Sunday warned that a Republican effort to stop a rise in the debt ceiling would lead to the US government defaulting on its debt. Goolsbee said it would be “the first default in history caused purely by insanity.”
The current US federal deficit ceiling is $14.3 trillion. CBS reported Monday that the US debt has reached $14 trillion.
Polls taken before the tax cut extension indicated that Americans largely opposed the Republican plan to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest earners, prompting many Obama supporters to express disappointment when the White House agreed to an across-the-board tax cut extension.
However, observers have since said that the White House may have taken a strategically smart approach, as the tax cut deal was followed by a number of legislative victories for the Democrats, including the passage of the arms reduction treaty with Russia and the repeal of the military’s ban on gays serving openly.
Missouri man threatened to ‘kill every gay person I can’ at St. Louis PrideFest: police
A Missouri man this week was charged with making a terrorist threat after he said he planned to "kill every gay person I can" at St. Louis's annual PrideFest.
The St. Louis Dispatch reports that court documents filed this week claim that 49-year-old Edward A. Terry of Overland, Missouri created a fake email account and sent a message to a PrideFest organizer saying that he would "come to pride fest with my guns to kill every gay person I can before I kill myself."
Establishment Dems pressuring new congress members to attend AIPAC Israel junket: report
For years, freshman Democratic lawmakers have faced pressure to attend an AIPAC sponsored trip to Israel, where they were denied access to Gaza and other territories controlled by Israel.
The pressure remains stronger than ever today, reports The Intercept, even as Israel's mideast policy is increasingly questioned.
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) assured AIPAC that this year the trip would be as well attended as it has been previously. “Like many of you, I’ve traveled to the communities in the south of Israel that have endured rockets and tunnels. I’ve traveled with over 150 of my fellow Democratic members of Congress to meet with those who live under the constant threat of terror,” he said in an April address to AIPAC.
Trump leveled by retired general for making Iran war decisions based on advice from Fox News hosts
During a panel discussion on the increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran after a drone was shot down by the Middle Eastern country in international airspace, a retired general claimed he was worried about Donald Trump's response based upon who it appears the president listens to when it comes to advice.
Speaking with host John Berman, retired Lt. General Mark Hertling warned that the shootdown was a dangerous provocation.
"It's huge, John," Hertling explained. "You can go all the way from backing down completely to a full-scale war -- that's what's dangerous about this situation."