Maybe Millionaires Aren’t So Bad? Most Support Higher Taxes on the Rich

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Warren Buffett has called for higher taxes on the wealthy, including himself.

In a survey of Americans holding at least $1 million in investments, more than two-thirds of respondents (67%) say that taxes should be raised on people earning $1 million and up annually. The survey, conducted by Spectrum’s Millionaire Corner investment group, asked wealthy investors what steps should be taken by the federal government to improve the economy. Specifically, the survey wondered if they would support a tax hike similar to the one suggested by Warren Buffett, in which taxes would be raised on Americans with annual income over $1 million. Perhaps surprisingly, 67% of survey participants support the idea.

Or perhaps this isn’t so surprising. It’s safe to say that the majority of those surveyed don’t pull in $1 million or more annually. They may have portfolios worth $1 million, or perhaps a few million, but that’s different from maintaining an annual income in the millions. For the most part, we’re talking about the merely rich, not the ultra-rich 1% here.

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When asked if they’d support higher taxes on Americans with incomes of $250,000 or higher—a proposal that’s surfaced from time to time—well, that’s an issue that seems to hit closer to home for the demographic in this survey. Just 45% of the respondents said yes.

By contrast, in a recent CBS/New York Times poll, 56% of the general population say that taxes should be raised on households earning $250,000 or more annually.

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What we have is a situation in which most people support the idea of raising taxes on the rich—so long as “the rich” means “someone who is richer than me.”

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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