A new poll from Gallup and USA Today asked people about how important it was for the lame-duck Congress to take action on six different things. A solid majority, 56 percent, said it was very important to pass legislation that would keep the estate tax from increasing significantly next year. In terms of major importance, this was the top issue in the poll, outranking extending unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed (48 percent said that was very important), allowing gay men and women to serve in the military (32 percent), and passing the DREAM act (31 percent). The only item to come close in terms of high importance was extending some form of federal income tax cuts passed under President Bush that are set to expire (50 percent said this was very important).
Virtually every poll I’ve ever seen shows that Americans don’t like the estate tax. The sentiment is broad and deep. In this poll, 68 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of Independents, and even 48 percent of Democrats said it was very important to keep the tax from increasing.