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Poll: Americans Are Split on Tax Proposals for Businesses, Wealthy

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Americans broadly support increasing taxes on businesses that move jobs overseas and boosting levies on the very wealthy, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.  But two other tax proposals -- cutting taxes for companies that bring overseas jobs here, and boosting the capital gains tax -- are substantially less popular. 

The latest poll finds that 72 percent of those surveyed support raising taxes on people with household incomes more than $1 million a year.  Moreover, 73 percent favor raising taxes on businesses that move manufacturing jobs overseas -- President Obama proposed removing tax incentives available to such companies in his State of the Union address last month.

But some of Obama’s other proposals are far less popular. His desire to reduce taxes on companies that bring jobs here gets substantially lower support, 51 percent, suggesting hesitancy among some to support cutting business taxes even when job-creation is proffered as a payoff.

Additionally, just two in 10 are in favor of increasing capital gains taxes on profits made by selling stocks and bonds, which Obama supports. Given information that the current capital gains tax rate is less than the earned income tax rate for many taxpayers, support for increasing the capital gains tax rises, but still just to 36 percent, indicating general resistance to broad-based personal tax increases.

Previously released results from this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, found broad suspicions of the tax system, with Americans by 68-28 percent saying they feel it favors the wealthy.

When Langer's questions specifically targeted Governor Mitt Romney, opinions about taxes appeared to split along along ideological fault lines. By 66-30 percent, those polled say Mitt Romney is not paying his "fair share" of taxes, based on his roughly 14 percent tax rate on 2010 income of about $22 million, income that came chiefly from capital gains and dividends. Support for raising the capital gains tax is higher, 45 percent -- at least among people who think Romney is not paying his "fair share." 

Among those who think Romney is paying a fair amount in taxes, however, just 19 percent favor a hike in the capital gains tax.

Similarly, among people who question Romney’s tax burden, 84 percent support raising taxes on millionaires; among those who say he is paying enough, support for a higher tax on the very wealthy falls to 48 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio