Bloomberg by the Numbers: 48

Photograph by Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

An Occupy Wall Street protester during a demonstration in New York.

That’s the percentage of Americans who would extend Bush-era tax cuts on income below $250,000 while letting them expire on higher income, according to an AP-GfK poll.

That position won a plurality of support of the three choices presented to poll respondents. Thirty-two percent said the tax cuts should continue for all taxpayers, while 13 percent said the tax cuts should expire for everyone.

The tax rate for upper-income earners is a sticking point in negotiations aimed at avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff, the combination of more than $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts that would take effect beginning in January if President Barack Obama and Republicans don’t reach an agreement.

Obama wants the Bush-era tax cuts to expire on individual income greater than $200,000 a year and family income exceeding $250,000.

Any agreement will “have to see the rates on the top 2 percent go up,” Obama said on Bloomberg Television Dec. 4 in his first media interview since his re-election. “And we’re not going to be able to get a deal without it.”

Republicans are resisting higher tax rates on income-earners, though some members of the party have said they are open to a compromise.

A few dozen Republicans “signed a letter calling for exploration of ‘all options’ on taxes and entitlement programs, a signal that some rank-and-file members are ready to bargain,” Bloomberg’s Heidi Przybyla reported yesterday.

The AP-GfK survey was conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 3 of 1,002 adults.

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