Good News, Rich People: Poor People Don’t Want to Raise Your Taxes

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Alberto Coto/Getty

Nearly half of the lowest earners among us want the rich to stay rich.

As Congress debates whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows the country is as divided as Washington when it comes to increasing taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

According to the poll, 54% support raising taxes on the rich, while 44% are opposed. Meaning that while the tax increases proposed by President Obama would affect only a minority of Americans (Obama says just 2%), nearly half of Americans — despite being completely unaffected by the proposed increases — don’t want to see anyone’s taxes increased.

Even more interesting is that nearly half of the poorest Americans come to the defense of the rich. Forty-three percent of Americans who earn less than $50,000 a year want the tax cuts to continue for all.

Back story: The tax cuts enacted by President George W. Bush are due to expire at year’s end. President Obama has proposed renewing the tax cuts for all Americans, except those individuals who earn at least $200,000 annually and those couples who bring in $250,000 and up.