Business Week/Harris Poll
THE PUBLIC BRACES FOR A HIT
The vast majority of Americans view a tax increase as inevitable, and 52% would accept an increased gasoline tax. That's a change from October, when 38% favored added gasoline levies. But the energy tax most favored is one on carbon content in fuel.
Whatever new tax they have to pay, 55% want all new tax revenue spent on deficit reduction.
ONE NATION, TWO MINDS
The latest projections for the federal budget deficit show that it will rise to over $300 billion in 1993. Do you favor or oppose tax increases to cut the deficit?
Favor 49% Oppose 48% Not sure3%
CAN'T STOP IT
Do you feel that such a tax increase is inevitable or not?
Tax increase inevitable 76% Not inevitable 21% Not sure 3%
BADGE OF COURAGE?
If broad-based taxes are increased by the Clinton Administration to cut the deficit, would you view this as a politically courageous act or a betrayal of the people who voted for him?
View as courageous act 50%
View as betrayal 43%
Not sure 7%
TOP CHOICE: TAX COAL
One possibility now being discussed for raising revenue is an increase in energy taxes. Let me read a list of possible energy taxes. Would you favor or oppose...
Favor Oppose sure
A tax on carbon, an element in many forms of energy, especially coal, which could devastate the coal industry but significantly cut carbon-dioxide emissions and so help the environment 60% 36% 4%
A $5-a-barrel tax on imported oil, which would raise gasoline and home-heating-oil prices 10 to 12 per gallon but would help reduce our dependence on
imported oil 57% 41% 2%
A 15 -per-gallon increase in gasoline taxes, phased in over time, which would hurt those who drive the most but would encourage energy conservation
52% 46% 2%
A 5% tax on all energy consumption, which would hurt industries that use the most energy and so increase consumer prices, but promote energy conservation in general 44% 53% 3%
SPEND IT ON THE DEFICIT . . .
If these taxes were increased, would you want all of the money spent on deficit reduction or not?
All spent on deficit reduction 55% Not spent 43% Not sure 2%
. . . OR ON SCHOOLS
If some of the money were to be used for other purposes, should it be for one of the following or not?
Used used sure
Increased spending on education and training 81% 18% 1%
Increased spending on the infrastructure, such as roads and bridges
59% 39% 2%
A middle-class tax cut 52% 46% 2%
A cut in the Social Security taxes that every working person pays
31% 67% 2%
Survey of 1,224 adults conducted Jan. 22-26, 1993, for BUSINESS WEEK by Louis Harris & Associates Inc. Results should be accurate to within three percentage points.Edited by Christopher Power