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During a discussion on the November 14 edition of CNN's The Situation Room about voters' expectations a week after the midterm elections, CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider -- after showing a clip of President Bush at an election rally stating "[t]he Democrats are going to raise your taxes ... they don't want you to know it" -- stated "Guess what? People know it," adding that "they voted for the Democrats anyway, which means they must really want change." But contrary to Schneider's suggestion that Americans voted for the Democrats while disagreeing with them on taxes, an analysis of polling data leading up to the election demonstrates that Americans trusted Democrats more on taxes than Republicans. Further, Democrats have pledged not to raise taxes on middle-class Americans.
As Media Matters for America has documented (here and here), polls taken before the midterm elections revealed that Americans have trusted Democrats more than Republicans on taxes for some time, a finding that is reaffirmed in the most recent (September 6-10) Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll on the subject, which showed a 45-to-30 percent Democratic advantage on taxes. A February Pew poll showed a Democratic advantage of 46-to-35 percent on taxes.
As Media Matters also noted, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) has said that one of the Democrats' top priorities would be to reform the alternative minimum tax so that it affects fewer middle-class Americans. According to a September 20 Bloomberg article: "As a priority, he [Rangel] said Republicans and Democrats need to work together to address the expanding reach of the alternative minimum tax, a parallel system designed to prevent the richest from avoiding taxes that increasingly ensnares middle-income households." Additionally, incoming House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has stated that Democrats will consider increasing taxes only on those making "$250,000 or $300,000 a year and higher," as Media Matters has previously noted.
From the November 14 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
SEN.-ELECT BEN CARDIN (D-MD): Marylanders were concerned about a change in Washington, and they wanted someone who stood up to President Bush and was willing to challenge his leadership.
SCHNEIDER: House Democrats intend to do that. On the minimum wage, embryonic stem cell research, prescription drug prices, and homeland security. President Bush may veto some of those measures. Democrats don't have the numbers to override a veto without Republican support. Despite President Bush's dire warnings, people don't think congressional Democrats will do anything to weaken national security. President Bush also warned:
BUSH: The Democrats are going to raise your taxes. No, I know they don't want you to know it.
SCHNEIDER: Guess what? People know it, but they voted for the Democrats anyway, which means they must really want change.