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Romney Lost, but His Ideas May Still Be Winners


Mitt Romney was soundly defeated in the presidential election, but parts of his economic agenda live on.

Mitt Romney was soundly defeated in the presidential election, but parts of his economic agenda live on. Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, have signaled a willingness to eliminate or cap tax deductions as a way to raise more revenue. That's an idea that Romney floated toward the end of the campaign (and it's similar to a proposal presented to Congress by President Obama that would cap the rate for deductions at 28%).

Now a new Gallup poll of 1,009 adults conducted after the election suggests that some elements of Romney's plan are still resonating with Americans. Almost all those surveyed said the economy and job market need to be a top priority in Obama's second term. But 88 percent say entitlement reform is extremely or very important, with another 10% calling it somewhat important. About 70% say cutting federal spending and simplifying the tax code should be priorities.

And while the president has emphasized his desire to end the Bush-era tax cuts for those families making $250,000 or more, just 47% of people surveyed by Gallup call that extremely or very important.

"While less than half of Americans consider this a highly important goal, another 24% call it somewhat important, indicating the public may not resist it," Gallup's Lydia Saad wrote in explaining the poll results. "However, a much larger proportion is in favor of tax reform that lowers tax rates and eliminates deductions and loopholes – more along the lines of what Romney was proposing." In the days since the election, the president and Republicans have sparred over who has a bigger mandate, and Obama has claimed strong support for ending those tax breaks for high income earners. Another problem: Limiting deductions along the lines proposed by Romney, or even by Obama in his budget proposals, wouldn't raise as much revenue as ending the Bush tax cuts for those making $250,000 or more.
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