Where Obama’s “80% Who Want Tax Increases” Came From

Obama’s bombshell that 80% of Americans favor increasing taxes is blowing up the blogosphere now. Reactions range from “it’s a lie” to “they can’t do math” to Traffic Santa calling the president’s bluff: “I challenge you to introduce legislation raising taxes on 80% of Americans.”

The answer, however, I culled from my years of creating chartjunk. I suspect he’s getting his fungible numbers from this Gallup poll:

The only important number here is the first one, the 20%. The president said, in effect, if you’re not one of the 20% who actually responded you favor tax increases. Thus, 80% (which included people who didn’t answer the question) are for tax increases. While that’s sorta true, it’s about as disingenuous a statistic as I’ve ever heard.

Using the same logic, 96% of American are for spending cuts.

Shortlink:

Posted by on July 15, 2011.
Filed under Barack Obama, Economics, Politics.
General malcontent. Used to be sorta famous.

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  • Anonymous

    Yeah but obama will say that those 96% are the ones that aren’t paying attention. Sure it makes no sense , but then neither do his policies.

  • Anonymous

    …or One could say that only 50% of the people want deficit reduction by spending cuts alone or with minimal tax increases.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RVIS42ZJEXB6TWZQHYCZF247II Willis Forster

    This  is more of the figures don’t lie, but liars can figure. I think he was given this line by one of his flunkies because though he is a prolific liar, i do not think he can do the arithmetic.

  • retired.military

    87.64721% of all statistics are made up.

    • http://wizbangblog.com John

      I completely forgot to put that in there! Honestly, I was going to stick that in there but I forgot. You get the credit for it now.

  • Anonymous

    The scholar pulled the 80% figure out of his ass.. Just like the recovery he says were in which no facts support.

    Bestest one termer evah!

  • Anonymous

    You guys are hilarious. Nowhere in the video does Obama claim that “80% want tax increases.” He says, and Gallup supports his claim, that 80% want “a balanced approach.”

    What’s wrong with you 20 percenters?

    BTW, on another thread, I said only Ten Measly Percent wanted “only spending cuts.” I was incorrect. I should have said Twenty Measly Percent. I regret my error.

    • Anonymous

      OK, Bruce, have it your way.

      Obama said “80% want a ‘balanced approach’”.

      No poll anywhere says that. The Gallup poll linked in this thread comes closest.
      Using the same poll, I can definitively stated 50% favor mostly/only favor spending cuts. This is directly at odds with Obama’s statement, as it is NOT a “balanced approach”.

      Are you now prepared to say that Obama misstated the opinions of American citizens?

      How about that Obama did not tell the truth when he stated “Americans are sold on this”?
      (It is obvious American citizens are NOT sold on a “balanced approach,” but one has to have the blinders off to see this.)

      Yes, we regret your errors also. Particularly the ones dealing with posting on Wizbang.

  • Anonymous

    You guys are hilarious. Nowhere in the video does Obama claim that “80% want tax increases.” He says, and Gallup supports his claim, that 80% want “a balanced approach.”

    What’s wrong with you 20 percenters?

    BTW, on another thread, I said only Ten Measly Percent wanted “only spending cuts.” I was incorrect. I should have said Twenty Measly Percent. I regret my error.

  • Anonymous

    You guys are hilarious. Nowhere in the video does Obama claim that “80% want tax increases.” He says, and Gallup supports his claim, that 80% want “a balanced approach.”

    What’s wrong with you 20 percenters?

    BTW, on another thread, I said only Ten Measly Percent wanted “only spending cuts.” I was incorrect. I should have said Twenty Measly Percent. I regret my error.

  • Anonymous

    You guys are hilarious. Nowhere in the video does Obama claim that “80% want tax increases.” He says, and Gallup supports his claim, that 80% want “a balanced approach.”

    What’s wrong with you 20 percenters?

    BTW, on another thread, I said only Ten Measly Percent wanted “only spending cuts.” I was incorrect. I should have said Twenty Measly Percent. I regret my error.

  • Anonymous

    You guys are hilarious. Nowhere in the video does Obama claim that “80% want tax increases.” He says, and Gallup supports his claim, that 80% want “a balanced approach.”

    What’s wrong with you 20 percenters?

    BTW, on another thread, I said only Ten Measly Percent wanted “only spending cuts.” I was incorrect. I should have said Twenty Measly Percent. I regret my error.

  • Anonymous

    Again, 20% want *only* spending cuts. If you want *mostly* spending cuts, you want a “balanced approach.” It’s pretty simple, Cap’n — if you want *mostly* spending cuts, you want at least *some* revenue increases, Which is a “balanced approach.”  Which is what Obama said.

    Jesus.

    Claiming that Obama said “80% want tax increases” is putting words in the President’s mouth that he never uttered.  It’s disingenuous to make this claim, but of course that doesn’t stop Wizbang authors and commenters from doing so. More in the Kerry’s-botched-joke-dishonesty vein. Own it.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry Bruce.  It remains a gross misrepresentation to say that 80% of Americans want tax increases.  A clear majority want little, if any, taxes.

      Obama is trying to equate people who want only a small amount of tax increases to people who want only tax increases.  It doesn’t work.  Only 11% want mostly or only tax increases to deal with the debt.  Those are the people who are on his side. 

      In general I would say that even those who say that there should be a small amount of tax increases are doing so out of a conviction that it is the only way and that they want the debt dealt with more than they do not want tax increases.  To suggest that they back obama and his profligate spending and refusal to deal with reality is nonsense.

  • Anonymous

    I say cut out the wars, bring the troops home and we’ll save billions now going to corrupt US, Arab, Afghan and Pakistani contractors.  That money is being pissed away in the sand overseas.

    Tax increases won’t be necessary then, and people will have more money to spend and bring back demand in the economy.

  • Anonymous

    Repeating a dishonest claim doesn’t make it any more valid, Jim.

    AGAIN, nowhere does Obama claim that 80% “want  tax increases.” Indeed, if I understand his long-term proposal correctly, he is proposing $1 trillion in revenue increases to $3 trillion in budget cuts. That sounds like “mostly spending cuts” to me. Which puts Obama himself in the “wants mostly spending cuts” camp.

    Those who want “mostly spending cuts” may mean a 55/45% split. They may mean, like the President, a 75/25% split. They may mean a freaking 99/1% split. But they want a BALANCED APPROACH. Which is what Obama said.

    I repeat — Jesus.

  • Anonymous

    Once again you miss my point.

    The issue is that he is saying that 80% support both taxes and spending cuts.  The way he presents it makes it sound like that support is uniform, when the truth is that the majority of Americans favor little or no taxes.  The balance is tilted toward less taxes where his position is for more taxes. 

    Further, his position is or taxes NOW and we’ll figure out the spending cuts LATER. People want cuts NOW.  You cannot escape the fact that he is twisting the data to make it sound like the public is wholeheartedly behind his position.  If that were the case the dem controlled Senate would not have voted down his budget last winter by a 97-0 vote.  The whole point of saying that the public is “sold” on the idea of both is to make he claim that they support his position in particular.

    Never-mind that his making this statement runs counter to his earlier statement that the American public is not engaged on the issue.  So are we then to assume that he is advocating following he lead of a bunch of clueless people?  Then again, perhaps he is because that’s what we would be doing by following his administration.

    • Anonymous

      “The issue is that he is saying that 80% support both taxes and spending cuts.”

      And, again, THEY DO. To one degree or another.

       A balanced approach. It’s how the balance should be weighted that should be the focus of contention.

      Jesus.

      The rest of your comment is deliberate misinterpretation of what the President said, ala Kery’s-botched-joke. In other words, your usual dishonesty.

  • Anonymous

    Brucehenry:
    AGAIN, nowhere does Obama claim that 80% “want  tax increases.” Indeed,
    if I understand his long-term proposal correctly, he is proposing $1
    trillion in revenue increases to $3 trillion in budget cuts.

    Except that he’s not.  He’s proposing $1 trillion in taxes, versus $3 trillion in cuts to the military and increased spending everywhere else (but he won’t be specific).  Note that “tax increase,” in the current economy, will probably NOT result in increases in revenue – the Laffer Curve strikes again.

    The less- charitable details that have leaked out is that the President has offered NO actual numbers, but basically sat down at the table and said “give me what I want, and no, I won’t tell you exactly what that is.”

    If he was serious about this process, he would have a list of actual programs to be cut from the massive useless parts of the government, not just the military (because he knows that can’t happen at the level he wants).  Hell, if he was really serious, he’d have an actual budget (aside from the travesty he proposed this spring that was shot down 97-0 in the Senate).

    I think he should be allowed the 3/1 program.  Except that he has to give us the list of $3 trillion worth of cuts FIRST (which have to be agreed upon by both sides), and won’t be allowed the $1 trillion in tax increases that he wants until the cuts actually go into effect.  He won’t do it.  He knows that he has a whole lot of idiots who will follow him right off of any cliff he wants – and blame the Republicans for not stopping them.

  • Anonymous

    Well, cirby, you might be right, but my point is that this article, and Jim’s and others’ comments, keep insisting that Obama is “lying” or  “pulling numbers out of his ass” when he says that 80% want a balanced approach. But that is not the case. 80% actually DO want a balanced approach. It’s HOW the cuts/taxes would be balanced that is in question.

    • Anonymous

      Again Bruce…

      I’m saying that his statement that 80% want a balanced approach is a statement that he is claiming that Americans are in agreement with his position.  That is a misstatement of fact.  The majority of Americans do not want the level of taxes that he is asking for.  Americans want spending cuts and he is unwilling to make any commitments and has removed a lot of his pet projects like healthcare, high speed rail etc from the table. 

      obama is being disingenuous by claiming that because Americans are willing to accept a “balanced approach” that they are sold on his program.  That is the implication that he is making.

      And again he has claimed that the majority of Americans are not engaged on the issue and yet he is turning around and claiming that 80% are in favor of his position.  Such inconsistent rhetoric indicates hat he is not being consistent with his message and has no plan.  He is in campaign mode and not in responsibly running the country mode.

      • Anonymous

        If Obama had said “80% of Americans agree with my position,” Jim, you might have a point. But he didn’t, so you don’t.

        And it’s disingenuous to keep arguing about Obama’s “misstatement of fact” when what you are doing is exactly that.

        • Anonymous

          I’m saying his intention to conflate “a balanced approach” with agreement with his position (which is exactly what he is trying to do here) amounts to a misstatement of fact.  I believe that he is attempting to conflate the two positions.  You may disagree with that.  I am not being disingenuous because I am being very explicit in what I am implying.  obama is the disingenuous one as he is trying to link two positions that are not necessarily in agreement.

          • Anonymous

            Oh, I see, Jim. You’re not being disingenuous. This is another of your “What Obama/liberals/leftists REALLY think/mean” comments.

            My apologies. Not dishonest, just clairvoyant.

          • Anonymous

            Paraphrase BH Jedi Mind Trick:

            Silly jim, can’t he see that it’s jim that is being disingenuous, not O or BH?

    • Anonymous

      Balanced implies 50-50. If I had 100 $1 bills and 100 $100 bills and said I took Obama’s interpertation (and apparently BruceHenry’s) of a” balanced approach” to putting them into a basket, how much would you expect to see in there? Would you pony up $5000 for it? $4000? How much money would you feel confident enough to pay to get that basket?

  • Anonymous

    What really freaks me out is how stupid and/or the public is. Take a look at these poll results then PLEASE reassure me.

    http://www.pollingreport.com/budget.htm

    • Anonymous

      Well it depends which pool you are asking about. There are multiple on the page.

      I assume you are talking about the Q-poll.  First, it is of registered voters so that skews more left that likely voters.  Second, obama is always going to poll better than expected because he will always get monolithic approval from blacks and from the far left.So he is always likely to poll up in the mid twenties regardless of how these people actually feel about his performance.  Likewise the left as a whole will always blame Bush for the economy so if dem affiliation is in the high 30′s you can put that as the baseline for people putting their heads in the sand and blaming Bush or anyone else but obama for anything.

      By contrast, the right is very willing to criticize their leadership. The TEA Party has actively worked against the GOP leadership in many races and has removed via primary challenge candidates that they didn’t like.  You find nothing of the sort on the left, where dissent is no longer considered “the highest form of patriotism”, but rather more like sedition.

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  • Anonymous

    Bruce, be sure to stock up on the kook aid. Word has it Barry is going to tax the hell out of it to pay for his 2012 run.

  • Frank O’Connell

    I’ll post this again since it was apparently deleted the first time.

    http://www.capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/2292/americans-support-higher-taxes-really

    Its a compilation of poll results on this subject.

  • Anonymous

    Did I miss something? What is the original source of the claim that 80% of Americans want “tax increases and cuts”? And, how many of the “80%” who want tax increases actually pay taxes? I stunk at math, but even I can understand that a 40% increase of 0 is still 0.

  • Anonymous

    I am quite sure that Obama’s statement of “Americans are sold on this” is a lie.

    My proof is that Bruce Henry completely avoided it when I confronted him earlier in this thread. And since Bruce free-bases the Kool-Aid…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Murphy/100001624276605 Ryan Murphy

    Except since 50% want mostly or all spending cuts, and only 43 percent want even  or even more tax increases, then ’80% want a balanced approach’ isn’t accurate/  50% want an UNBALANCED approach in favor of spending cuts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Murphy/100001624276605 Ryan Murphy

    Tell me how 50% supporting mostly or all spending cuts is at all similar to 80% supporting a ‘balanced approach’ which implies equal amounts of spending cuts with tax increases?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TVTYLQ6O5TXERJX7VWFEJVHS6M dox

    Using the Gallup Poll figures you cited, the majority favor some mix of tax increase plus spending cuts (32% favor half and half, 30% mostly spending, 7% mostly tax, total 69%), and that majority includes us republicans by recent count.  Few citizens share the “no tax” zeal expressed by the  Boehners.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Murphy/100001624276605 Ryan Murphy

    Not a cent of taxes or revenue until spending has been addressed.  If you allow taxews first, then the spending cuts will magically evaporate,.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4Z5SCEQSCXUR76RMLIQDZOC2UY SAMUEL

    Just a little insight to polls here.  If I were one of the MSM talking heads and you watched me at least five nights a week telling you that there is no way that the government can get out of this mess without increasing taxes, Obama has compromised with the Republicans on this and he has a balanced approach, that we absolutely need to increase the debt limit or the US will implode and there will be no money to fund the military, social security, medicare, food stamps, etc., etc., etc.  And I feed you this information for weeks on end then turn around and ask you if you think that the country could survive following the nasty Republicans’ plan to Cut taxes, Cap Spending, and Balance the Budget, what else could you say than “We can’t follow the Republicans’ plan because they want to roll Grandma off the cliff and send the US economy into a disasterous financial armageddon.”  Am I making any sense here?