Poll: Obama Contributors in Revolt Over Obama Tax Cut Deal

December 7, 2010

(ChattahBox Political News)— Trouble may be brewing ahead for Democratic supporters of President Obama’s tax cut compromise. The Obama administration’s tax cut “framework” deal with the Republicans that would extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans for two-years is angering many progressives. A poll conducted on the eve of Obama’s tax deal announcement shows a whopping 83 percent of former Obama contributors oppose extending a tax cut to the richest two percent, with 74 percent strongly opposed. And more troubling for progressive lawmakers, a majority of those polled expressed a willingness to make Democratic lawmakers pay politically for voting for the tax deal.

The poll, commissioned by MoveOn.org, was conducted by SurveyUSA, polling “1,132 registered voters who identified themselves as having contributed time or money to help elect Barack Obama were interviewed December 6 in 20 US states on the eve of the tax-cut announcement.”

The results showed that not only are Obama contributors less likely to support Democratic lawmakers who vote for the tax deal, but they may also withhold their campaign donations. And they plan to also direct their anger towards Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Specifically:

• An overwhelming majority, 83% of former Obama contributors, oppose extending the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000 a year—70% of them strongly.

• More than 74% of former Obama contributors oppose the president’s making a deal with Republicans that would extend the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000.

• More than half, 51% of former Obama contributors, say striking such a deal would make them less likely to contribute to the Obama re-election campaign in 2012.

• And 57% of former Obama contributors surveyed said that they would be less likely to support Democrats in 2012 who support this deal.

• Finally, 67% of former Obama contributors surveyed said they support the extending tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 per year.

This is not good news for Democrats and President Obama, who was forced to bargain with the GOP’s hostage demands. This anger may die down, as the package of middle class tax credits, including a payroll tax holiday and 13-month extension of unemployment benefits begins to take effect. But the tax bonus for the wealthiest Americans and concessions made to Republicans on the estate tax and capital gains tax that only benefits the super wealthy, is a bitter pill to swallow for progressives.

But as President Obama said last night during his announcement of the tax cut compromise, he “completely disagrees” with the Republicans’ demands for awarding the wealthiest Americans a tax bonus. And when push came to shove, Obama was unwilling to allow “working families” to become “collateral damage for political warfare here in Washington.”

Frankly, the compromise deal is not as bad as many progressives feared. The package of middle class tax credits will act as a much-needed economic stimulus, albeit, not the most effective stimulus.

Greg Sargent of the Washington Post’s The Plum Line points out, “These findings goes directly to the heart of a question that commentators are starting to ask: Does the Left’s anger over this deal matter? Will it have any impact? No doubt some will argue that it can only help Obama to anger the left.”

As Sargent and others are saying, it’s now more important than ever to ensure that at least one item on the progressive’s agenda is checked off. That being, the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” The Republicans are doing their best to stall and delay to make sure there is no time left in the lame duck session to hold a vote on DADT.

Progressives, as well as Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) are now calling on Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid to extend the Senate’s session to allow time for the DADT vote.

Photo Source: White House Photo by Pete Souza


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