With only marginal improvement made to the economy since the beginning of the recession in 2008, tensions are mounting amongst Americans. The emergence of Occupy Wall Street and calls of solidarity with the 99% has driven Americans into distinctly separate camps, namely the haves and the have-nots. Yet much of the vitriol is aimed at the “have-too-much”, embodied in the 1% of Americans; those who hold 50% of the nation’s wealth, but pay significantly less than those in a middle income bracket.

In an effort to change this, and what many are seeing as the opening volley of the 2012 Election, President Obama has, in recent days, made his case for the Buffett Rule (now blocked by the Senate), named for American investor Warren Buffett, as the solution to the recession and what will return the United States to economic solvency. However, many Americans remain divided on the issue.

Crimson Hexagon analyzed more than 102,000 opinions in social media and found that 23% are in favor of the Buffett Rule, as they feel it’s a step in the right direction:

  • 11% think it makes perfect sense for the ultra wealthy to pay more in taxes given their exponentially larger incomes than most Americans.
  • 7% feel that, as a GOP ploy, they’re greedy and want nothing more to beat Obama in the upcoming election, and neglecting how much it could help the country.
  • 5% acknowledge it as a general positive, in that they agree with the President’s positioning and stance on the issue.

Although 29% of the 36% of neutral conversation is simply sharing the news surrounding the Buffett Rule, 7% are curious of other’s opinions on the topic.

Yet, an overwhelming majority of the conversation considers the Buffett Rule as doing more harm than good, as well as being skeptical of its benefits, resulting in a resounding 42% balking at the notion of the rule:

  • 17% don’t view the Buffett Rule as a viable solution to the economic turmoil and only stands to create more economic distress.
  • 15% are generally opposed to the introduction of such a rule.
  • And 10% see the Buffett Rule as an extension of class warfare, pitting Americans against one another, and ultimately serving as a distraction to more important issues.

How do you feel about the Buffet rule? Tweet at @crimsonhexagon and let us know what you think.

Sean Finn and Aliyah Bilal-Gore also contributed to this post.