While most people support extending at least some of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts set to expire this year, Americans are deeply divided on which cuts should continue. According to a Gallup/USA Today survey released Wednesday, 40% of respondents say the extensions should apply to all Americans, while 44% say that cuts for the wealthy should be excluded.

Respondents generally follow party lines in their opinions about how long the extensions should last: Almost 70% of Democrats say any tax cuts should be temporary, while 56% of Republicans support permanent tax cuts, according to the poll. Meanwhile, about 13% of those polled think the George W. Bush-era tax cuts should expire this year.

These differing opinions are reflected in Washington, where President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats continue to wrangle with Senate Republicans over the issue. The House of Representatives is set to vote on the bulk of the tax cuts Thursday, while Senate Republicans have vowed to block all new legislation until tax cuts are extended -- and until the government passes a bill to fund federal-government operations, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

If that happens, the block would hamper Democrats' attempts to eliminate the U.S. Defense Department's ban on openly gay military personnel and to provide legal status to illegal immigrants attending college or serving in the military, according to the AP.

On Tuesday, Obama said that he would work with U.S. senators to reach a tax-policy agreement by the end of the year. He assigned U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Budget Director Jack Lew to work with Congress members on both sides of the aisle to reach an accord, Reuters reported.

The Bush-era tax cuts have been a major point of contention between Obama, who wants to increase the capital-gains tax while granting tax breaks to the middle class and small businesses, and Republicans, who say ending the tax breaks would hamper the country's economic recovery.


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Beau

You people have this completely backwards.....you are trying to fix the problem from the bottom up....sort of like giving someone a foot massage who needs a quadruple coranary bypass. The first place to start is with the entire system of "monetray based control" and the lie of "supply and demand" trading. There are more than enough resources on this planet to go around multiple times, but the market fixers make damn sure that only they have unlimited resources by controlling the flow of product. For instance, they keep millions of diamonds in storage so as not to flood the market with them and decrease the so called "value" of a shiny stone. This is done on every conmodity, and the fixers can use a few million dollars to buy or dump a stock so as to manipulate the market prices for their own ends. This is not free trade nor is it true capitalism. This is lying and cheating for the edification of a very select few. But, beyond that, one must understand that all prices are subjective, and therefor may be changed at the source. For instane "The Dollar" is valued at such a level at any given time, but who exactly decides this value? It is completely made up and used to manipulate the market. The dollar is no longer backed by gold, so there is no intrinsic value....merely the preconceptions of mankind which give it any value at all. Banks make money out of thin air, based on rules they themselves created decades ago.....no real value, just their own belief in the money they created. The federal reserve (which is a private banking consortium and NOT a part of our government) loans money to us as a nation, and charges interest off the top, even though we are legally able to produce our own monies at no cost. It is in our constitution. This system was set up by bankers and liars and put into law by the politicians they bought. Further more, even if the dollar was backed by gold....who exactly decides the exact value of gold? Is it some brilliant and fair minded genius? No, it is done by a group of mere men who are looking out, first and foremost, for their own interests. Until this system which allows for cheating right from the start is fixed, there will be no peace or solution, and the gap between the ultra rich and the rest of us will grow wider and wider as each year passes.

December 25 2010 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill

Time to Replace Obama ? ? I was one of the people who actually bought into the whole “Hope and Change” theme that Mr. Obama was selling a couple of years back. I thought that government could really be answering to the people, all of the people, not just to the rich and powerful. I was wrong. We cannot now, even speak honestly. We are told that the genitals of our children must be exhibited to airport security personnel so that we can be “safe.” We once thought that when we had to endure such humiliation, it was a sure sign that we were no longer “safe. The Democrats want to maintain the “temporary” tax cuts on income below $250,000. for everyone, rich and poor alike. The Republicans want to maintain low taxes for those making billions of dollars. Keeping all of the tax cuts jeopardizes the future of America and the amount of tax cutting amounts to just over 4 Trillion dollars over the next decade. There is no place to cut 4 trillion dollars on the expenditure side, either we allow those tax rates to rise or we borrow the money along with the accompanying interest from the children who’s genitals we are examining in the name of “security.” When Truman lost the congress during the mid term, he fought back. When Bill Clinton lost the congress during the mid term, he allowed the Republicans to shut down the government. Both of these men knew who would be blamed for the boorishness. They were right and they forced the country in a new direction. President Obama has signaled his intention to roll over and play dead. Mr. Obama speaks now of neither Republicans or Democrats getting everything that they want. It isn’t about Democrats or Republicans, it is about our country, our people, our future. Unless we have strong leadership willing to balance the budget, (see Truman and Clinton above), we are well on the road to third rate status on the world stage. We are witnessing the end of the American era, of the American dream. Income disparity has not been as pronounced as it is now since 1928 and unless something is done to balance it, the result will be the same now as it was then. Progressive taxation levels the playing field just a little, it is the difference between a modern society and a feudal society. In a modern society, your station in life is subject to your contribution to that society, in a feudal society, your station in life is dictated by your heritage. The strong and wise and fair thing for the president to do is to continue to press for the lower tax rates for the first $250,000. in earnings and higher rates above that level. If the Republicans can’t agree, let them be responsible for tax increases on everyone. There will be more elections in a couple of years. Let the people decide if we pay for our government services now or we pass that burden to our children.

December 07 2010 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bill's comment
skydrive65

The problem is not paying for government services. The problem is paying for people who want to live on those government services for a lifelong period. You have no clue what a modern society is or a feudal one is. Hell those two are not even comparisons because while the feudal system is a system that exists for comparison. There is no such thing as "modern form of government". Sorry mr. socialist, try different wordplay to push through your want to end capitalism. Oh and take your taking from people to give to those who do no make as much to "equalize and level the playing field", and shove it up your ass sideways. Clinton is and always shall be garbage he is a huge part of the problem we are in now with China. Perhaps when people stop getting more than they make when they file a tax return, we will be able to afford the cuts for the people who actually contribute to society. You know the ones I am talking about, you know those people who actually pay taxes and don't get all of it and then some back on tax return day. So in the nicest way I can think to tell people with your train of thought if you can call it thought is this. **** OFF! And please refrain from having anymore thoughts, bye.

December 12 2010 at 6:46 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
eldo72

if snipes goes to jail, what about rangel, the korean hero?????????????????

December 05 2010 at 4:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cjfandtjs

I don't know what the questions were, but here are mine. 1) will taking more tax money from working people improve the economy? 2) Should the US gov't. discriminate against people who save money?

December 05 2010 at 9:00 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
jnur01

There are many things that can be done to restore our great nation. 1 reduce government. 2 serving for the people should be just that, compensation should be minimal with servents contributing to their health care and retirement just as all other federal workers are required to do as in 403b. Health care should be tricare just like our military receives. 3 A hand up instead of a hand out. If you recieve any kind of government assistance you must provide some type of service or increase your abliity to take care of yourself( training or education)or community service. All government housing should be set up with free daycare supervised by educated with the occupants of housing required to cook clean and assist with daycare for set hours per week on off days when not working or getting training for job. 3 limit time assistance is available to encourange these people to become self sufficient and proud of what they have accomplished. Keeping people on government assistance only encourages multiple generations to continue in the problem. Our government was not set up to provide for the people it was set up to ensure our rights were upheld. It was not set up to provide jobs it was set up to ensure that we have the right to persue life, liberty and the PERSUIT of happiness. I'm sure others have suggestions to help minimize government and make this again the greatest country in the world. I'm listening how about our government.

December 04 2010 at 12:21 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to jnur01's comment
pdolmen

The jobs people need to feed and raise their kids, have a decent place to live, pay taxes and contribute to the society have been shipped, in most part, overseas where cheap, cheap labor is used to manufacture the things that used to be made in America. We need the jobs back, and we can't get that done by giving tax breaks to businesses that take jobs to these third-world nations, a prime recommendation of the "Deficit Commission," its members coming from rich, white society. Now, the republicans who have been most complicit in the job drain from America to other countries are "piling" on by fighting the extension of unemployment benefits, paid for, by the way, by the workers affected, unless the upper one or two percent of Americans, based on wealth, get their tax break. The republicans and even some democrats claim that having unemployment benefits available makes laid-off workers lazy and unwilling to try to find work. Does anybody get the twisted logic here? Let's simplify: To the American working man and woman...we take away your jobs, take away your safety net, and brand you a lazy, shiftless dreg on the "hard-working" citizens of the country. Workers fortunate enough to have jobs cursse the unemployed because these workers are convinced those folks who can't find a job are simply unwilling to work. "I'm self-made and don't need any help from anybody. Those other worthless pieces of crap just don't have my get up and go." This, while millions of Americans are working two or three low-paying, futureless jobs just to feed their kids? The privileged that have actually worked for their privileges are a drop in the bucket compared to those who have inherited them, stolen them, or "earned" them by tax dodges, payoffs to elected "representatives" and the lobbyists who get paid to pay the politicians to change the laws so that their rich clients can get even richer. You "conservatives" who are working and don't want to give up any of your money to the commons because its "yours" by damned, need to be warned. "Your" job may be "safe" for now, but don't get too complacent. The multi-national corporations and those who profit hugely from them, have a strong track record of being ruthless when it comes to money. If your job or industry isn't providing enough "return" on investment (read cash in their pockets) these folks will slash "your" job so fast your head will literally come off. Will you still be an ardent "free-enterpriser" when you have no job, your home is gone, your kids don't get enough to eat and your American "Dream" has become a nightmare? Don't you even dare whine or sign up for unemployment when it comes, and it will. If you are incapable of feeling any sympathy for others, unable to feel a sense of shared harm done to anyone other than yourself, you deserve whatever the hell it is that comes your way. How do you feel about that? Having your own "values" turned on you rather than on others not so fortunate, lucky or "crafty?" Be careful, folks. "Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." To all you Scrooges out there, have a Merry, Merry Christmas!

December 03 2010 at 3:02 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pdolmen's comment
skydrive65

WAH WAH WAH. Since I am sure your uneducated, because if you were. Then you would know which President actually shipped your job out and it was a beloved Democrat. Your post is the biggest whine I have ever seen. I will give you credit you are at least coming out and saying you want them to take from people who are working now just to give you those who do not have now. What a joke. Sorry bitching that your job is not available anymore is not somehow a reason that others should subsidize you with their tax money. What it means is stop being lazy and learn another job trade. Sorry to burst your bubble of ignorant retard bliss, but yes I will curse someone who is unemployed who go gets unemployment extensions just because the new job he will get wont pay as much and he would rather do nothing for more money. Why should someone not get the benefits they pay for? no one is denying you that. What your bitching about is being denied the benefits that have run the hell out because you have not found a new job. Sorry a job is out there the problem is its not the one you want with the exact salary you deem able to live on so you would rather stay on unemployment extensions because its more suitable to your old lifestyle. You know what? Tuff ******* ****. Grow the **** up learn a new trade or get the **** out of the way. Because guess what there is someone younger faster and filled with more knowledge ready to replace you or me should we slip up.

December 12 2010 at 7:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Mike

We should. Now that unemployment has been taken away, we need someone with any money to keep this "economy" somewhat alive. This is all we have left. The money that the Feds steal from our pay is wasted on individuals who should have no rights whatsoever but are handed EVERYTHING. Try that in another country! The worst part is, we have no say. Time to stop thia NOW!

December 03 2010 at 9:08 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike's comment
gscizme789

Yes! People shouldn't have any rights! Smart thinking!

December 04 2010 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TODD

The only people who vote for a tax hike are the people who do not pay any taxes. Really think about it. Who says please raise my taxes.

December 03 2010 at 7:23 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
5 replies to TODD's comment
cybrwalker

How are those "job-creating" 8 year tax cuts working for ya?

December 03 2010 at 3:40 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to cybrwalker's comment
docfain

I hope Congress will not cater to those micro-brained bullies trying to "hold-up" the country for their favorite "charities". We're so bad off now that things couldn't get a heck of alot worse. They are hipocrites and lie when it serves them. Obama, give them a good boot in the rear end! Just say NO!!

December 02 2010 at 8:29 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply