House Republicans are opposing tax increases on anyone - whether it's Americans making $250,000 or $1 million or more a year.
But a new survey shows that they might be opposing the very people they claim to protect. American Express Publishing and The Harrison Group found that 67 percent of the top one percent of American earners support higher income taxes. Their support has grown since the election. This summer, 62 percent of them supported higher taxes.
Some might say the rich are hoping to tax people richer - or poorer -- than themselves. The top one percent consist of people making more than $450,000 a year. But the survey clearly shows most One Percenters favor taxing themselves. More than half say that they support taxing those making $500,000 or more. That's up from 51 percent in the second quarter.
"There is an absolute willingness for the vast majority of the One Percent to take a tax increase," said Jim Taylor, Vice Chairman Harrison Group. "What the Republicans think is not necessarily what their constituents think." Granted, the one percent is not happy about paying higher taxes. The American Express/Harrison poll shows that 64 percent say they carry an "unfair tax burden in the amount of money I pay in taxes." This number is higher for Republicans and lower for Democrats.
Nearly three quarters of them are "extremely or very concerned about their taxes going up." Other recent surveys show that the wealthy support higher taxes as part of a balanced solution to the government debt problem that includes spending cuts.
Still, a majority support for tax increases on themselves, presumably for the sake of the broader economy. Taylor said that for many of the wealthy, the possible reduction in asset values stemming from problems in Washington far outweigh the potential reduction in their income.