Obama's Tax Deal Popular, But Few Like What's Inside

The Senate is voting on whether to move forward with President Obama's tax compromise, and will likely approve it. But how is this grab-bag of taxcuttery even polling? Quite well! Not necessarily for its contents, though.

The bill — which includes a temporary extension of all Bush-era income tax rates, a temporary employee-side cut in the payroll tax, thirteen months of jobless benefits, and a resumption of the estate tax at a traditionally low rate and with a higher exemption ($5 million) — is supported by 69% of Americans, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. And levels are high among Democrats, Republicans, and independents. Hooray!

Not that anyone really likes it, however:

A slender 11 percent of those polled back all four of the deal's primary tax provisions: an across-the-board extension of Bush-era tax cuts, additional jobless benefits, a payroll tax holiday and a $5 million threshold for inheritance taxes. Just 38 percent support even two of the components.

This demonstrates the Art of Compromise in gridlocked America, we suppose: No one likes it very much at all, but hey, if it keeps one of your tax rates low, then pass it along with whatever else. This is going to cause problems, again, when these new temporary cuts and extensions near their expiration dates in either one or two years. Democrats should come up with a legislative plan right now to cover this, because Republicans will always have theirs: Extend every tax cut, permanently. Which has been working well for them.

[Image of President Obama fielding questions about his tax compromise via AP]