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6 in 10 oppose wartime tax cuts

©Associated Press
April 14, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Six in 10 Americans say they are against more tax cuts in wartime when the country already faces huge budget deficits, according to an Associated Press poll. Still, half of all Americans say their taxes are too high.

The poll, taken in the days before Tuesday's tax deadline, found that 61 percent say it would be better to hold off on tax cuts right now to avoid making budget deficits worse and ensure there is adequate money to pay for the war.

Half that many, 31 percent, said they think it is more important to pass more tax cuts to give people more money to spend and to stimulate the economy, said the poll conducted for the AP.

"I think they need to figure out how to pay for the war," said Joseph Ames, 28, a cook from Boise, Idaho, who considers himself a political independent. "They need to broaden their search to see where and who is actually affected by these tax cuts. I hear a lot of talk about the little man getting stomped on."

A majority of those who think taxes are too high and a majority of Republicans said they preferred holding off on tax cuts. Three of four Democrats said to wait.

Lawmakers are debating a tax cut, which could be around $350-billion. Deficits are expected to approach $400-billion this year.

AUDIT FEAR: One in five in the poll said they thought the chance of having their taxes audited was at least "somewhat likely."

The likelihood of anyone getting audited by the IRS last year was very low, with only one of 174 tax returns audited in fiscal 2002.

People were about evenly divided on whether people caught cheating on their taxes in a minor way should be punished.

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