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Americans Reject Cuts to the Middle Class, Favor Higher Taxes on the Wealthy, Corporations

by Clyde Weiss  |  July 26, 2011

Republicans like to say they have Americans on their side in the debate over the budget deficit. They’re wrong, and this new Washington Post-ABC News poll proves that Americans don’t like their plan to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

An overwhelming majority – 72 percent – said they opposed cutting Medicaid (a federal-state health care program for low-income people) in order to reduce the national debt. Only 27 percent favored it.

Similarly, those polled rejected increasing the eligibility age for Medicare (a federal social insurance program that provides health care coverage for most Americans over age 65, and the disabled). Fifty-four percent opposed that idea. Only 46 percent favored it.

Another proposal – changing the Social Security formula so that recipients ultimately receive lower benefits than they would have otherwise – didn’t go over well with Americans either. Fifty-three percent opposed the idea, compared to 42 percent who favored it.

But a whopping 72 percent of those polled strongly supported fixing the deficit by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans (those with incomes more than $250,000 a year), and 59 percent favored increasing taxes on oil and gas companies.

If Republicans in Congress really listen to the majority of American people, as they say they do, then they would quickly drop their plans to slash programs that support middle-class Americans. Instead, they would adopt a fairer system of shared sacrifice – one that does not favor millionaires and oil and gas corporations that are rolling in profits.

As AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee recently pointed out:

“Whether it’s passing the extreme Paul Ryan budget, causing the current default crisis, or trying to use the Constitution to launch a sneak attack on seniors and the working middle class, House Republicans have made clear they will do whatever it takes to shred the American safety net in order to protect tax breaks for the rich.”

Read more about the importance of saving Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security here.

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