When President Barack Obama unveiled his plan to raise taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations, some pundits and politicians accused him of abandoning the center of the political debate.
The on-line journal Politico suggested that the plan had sparked “middle of the road rage.”
In that article, they quote Democratic centrist Mark Penn saying, “President Obama is basically tearing apart his own coalition.”
New York Times columnist David Brooks jabbed the President for teasing moderates by sounding like one of them, and then tacking to the left.
House Speaker John Boehner went several steps farther, accusing Mr. Obama of declaring “class warfare.”
But a new poll out today from Gallup suggests that the White House may be navigating closer to the center-line than his critics like to think.
The poll found that a whopping 70% of Americans favor boosting taxes and eliminating loopholes for corporations, while 66% support income tax hikes for individuals and families earning more than $200,000 a year.
Gallup also found significant support for the White House plan among GOP voters:
“Slightly more than half of rank-and-file Republicans and Republican-leaning independents favor the idea of eliminating certain corporate tax deductions as a way to pay for a jobs creation bill,” the pollster reported.
“Forty-one percent of Republicans favor raising taxes on higher-income Americans. Democrats strongly favor both proposals for paying for the cost of the jobs bill.”
Given the President’s low poll numbers, Gallup’s survey also found a remarkable level of support for his overall economic proposals, ranging from taxes to deficit reduction to jobs.
“This is the second Gallup survey conducted in the last two weeks showing that the American public broadly supports Obama’s jobs plan,” the pollster said, in a statement.
“A majority of Americans interviewed this past weekend believe the plan would help at least a little to create jobs and improve the economy.”
So if 4-out-of-10 Republicans want higher taxes on the wealthy and more than half of GOP voters agree that corporate tax loopholes should be eliminated, is it fair to say that Obama has tacked away from the middle?
As always, your comments welcome.