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75% See Middle Class Tax Hikes As Likely in Debt Ceiling Deal

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

When politicians talk about cutting government spending and raising taxes on the wealthy, voters are skeptical about the spending cuts and expect middle class taxes to go up, too.

Still, 76% say it’s likely the debt ceiling will be increased before the government begins defaulting on its debts. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 12% of Likely U.S. Voters think it unlikely that the debt ceiling will be raised on time. These figures include 36% who say it’s Very Likely a deal will be reached before the default deadline and only two percent (2%) who say it’s Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

While expecting the debt ceiling to go up, voters question whether spending will go down. Forty-eight percent (48%) say it’s likely the debt ceiling will go up without significant spending cuts being made, with 19% who think it's Very Likely. Just 42% consider that outcome unlikely, including 11% who say it's Not At All Likely.

But if a deal is made to cut spending and raise taxes only on the wealthy, 75% think the end result is likely to include a middle class tax hike. Only 21% consider a middle class tax increase to be unlikely. These figures include 44% who say an increase in taxes on the middle class is Very Likely, while five percent (5%) say it’s Not At All Likely.

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The national telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 16-17, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points witha 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.See methodology.

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