A majority of the one percent wealthiest Americans are ready to pay higher taxes and have increased their support for President Barack Obama’s fiscal cliff proposal since the November elections, a new poll conducted by American Express Publishing and the Harrison Group has found.
While House Republicans strongly oppose higher taxes on the rich the survey found that the wealthiest Americans oppose the very same people who are trying to protect them.
According to the poll, 67% of the top one percent wealthiest Americans said they are ready to be taxed more than middle class Americans. Support has grown since the elections from around 62% in July and 51% in the second quarter. The country's top one percent consists of people who make more than $450,000 a year and favor themselves being taxed on income, irrespective of the taxes on the people with higher or lower incomes than theirs.
"There is an absolute willingness for the vast majority of the One Percent to take a tax increase," said, Vice Chairman Harrison Group. "What the Republicans think is not necessarily what their constituents think."
However, the survey also showed that while the rich are ready to pay more they are not very happy about it. Sixty-four percent of them believe that they are bearing an unfair burden in the form of taxes. This number was higher for Republicans and lower for Democrats; while an overwhelmingly large majority said that they are ‘extremely concerned about their taxes going up.'
Still, a majority approved tax increases on themselves when it comes to averting the fiscal cliff as part of saving the economy from plunging back into recession because for many of these super wealthy Americans, a reduction in their asset value due to the country’s bad economic health far outweighs the reduction in their incomes caused by paying a higher tax rate.
Meanwhile, some Republicans are urging House Speaker, a key GOP negotiator on the fiscal cliff, to let Obama go ahead with his solution, arguing that sparing 98% or 99% of the Americans from tax rise due on Jan. 1, is the best political alternative at the moment.