Ignoring Polls, Speaker Boehner Claims Dem "Machine" Must "Build Support For Tax Hikes"

September 27, 2011 2:32 pm ET — Alan Pyke

Here's how Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) leads off a fundraising message for the NRCC today:

The President and his team have declared that the 2012 campaign is officially underway. They think they can use their massive political machine to build support for tax hikes, more out-of-control spending, and more government intrusion into the private sector.

Boehner isn't breaking new ground here, but this demonstrates that the Republican tendency to hide from public opinion on tax policy goes all the way to the top. Most recently, it was Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) dismissing voter support for higher taxes as a product of voter ignorance, but the more common tactic is to simply deny that Americans support higher taxes on the wealthy.

Previously the task has fallen to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), and super committee member Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), to name just a few. The NRCC itself has taken a shift, labeling supporters of higher taxes "radical left-wing extremists" the same month that Gallup found seven in 10 GOP voters support some tax increases to reduce the deficit.

And that Gallup poll is just one of many. We have nearly 30 polls from the past year showing strong majority support among American voters for higher taxes on the wealthy to reduce the deficit, including one released today that specifically polled the "Buffett rule." Boehner can pretend otherwise in fundraising emails if he wants, but sooner or later the GOP will have to publicly confront the reality that they're on the wrong side of public opinion here.

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