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Majority of Rich Support New Taxes and Spending

David Callahan

One enduring mystery of the Republican Party's extreme anti-tax position is who they are speaking for? Does any substantial swath of the American public really oppose tax increases so much that they want this option completely off the table as a means for taming the deficit?

One thing is for sure: Republicans aren't speaking for the wealthy when they oppose any and all tax increases. As I have written often, including in my book Fortunes of Change, many in the upper class are fine about paying higher taxes and have seen tax increases as inevitable following the binge spending of the past decade -- which included two unfunded wars and the largest expansion of the entitlement system since the 1960s.

The latest evidence that many rich people support higher taxes comes from a new poll by the Spectrem Group, which found that:

Millionaire investors advocate a mixture of tax hikes, cuts to social programs and targeted increases in government spending to further improve the U.S. economic situation, according to a survey conducted this month by Millionaire Corner. . . .

Improvements to the economic situation can be obtained by tax hikes for the wealthiest Americans, say the majority of Millionaire investors surveyed in October. More than 67 percent support raising taxes on individuals with more than $1 million in income – a tiny fraction of the U.S. population. Only 45 percent favor a tax hike that would hit closer to home – increases for individuals who make $250,000 a year.

More than 60 percent favor increased investment and research in renewable energy, such as solar energy, and alternative sources of fuel. An equal percentage favors infrastructure projects to create jobs while improving road, bridges and other public structures. More than 62 percent say that developing oil reserves in Alaska would improve the nation’s economic situation.