Most Americans — including more than one-third of Republicans — oppose President Trump’s tax plans, a new survey finds.
In an ominous sign for lawmakers working to reach a consensus with the administration, 62 percent of poll respondents said they don’t support Trump’s proposal while 24 percent said they back it.
Republicans are evenly split, with 41 percent opposed and a nearly identical 40 percent in favor, according to the POLITICO-Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health survey. Democrats are overwhelmingly against the plan, with 85 percent opposed, along with 60 percent of independents.
Most respondents said they don’t believe the proposal will improve the economy, and three-quarters said it would either hurt them personally or make no difference in their lives.
In one bit of good news for lawmakers, the survey suggests the public is not as reflexively opposed to sacrificing popular tax breaks in the name of reform as many might assume. Most said they’d be willing to pare back long-standing breaks for mortgage interest expenses, charitable contributions and other items.
The poll indicates Republicans, who have been preoccupied with their Obamacare replacement plans, still have a lot of work to do when it comes to selling their tax proposals to the public. Lawmakers are hoping to tackle a once-in-a-generation, and surely hugely controversial, overhaul later this year.
In April, the administration released an outline of its plan calling for a big cut in the corporate tax rate. It also proposed reducing the top individual rate to 35 percent, from the current 39.6 percent, as well as eliminating a surtax on capital gains. It would double the standard deduction while expanding breaks for childcare expenses. It would also do away with the alternative minimum tax system and the estate tax.
The administration gave few indications of how it would pay for the plan, aside from Trump’s call to eliminate tax breaks for the wealthy and “special interests.”
Just 34 percent of respondents said they believe the plan will help the economy, though Republicans were more favorably disposed. Sixty-two percent see the Trump plan helping job creation, compared with 38 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats.
Seventy-five percent said they believe the plan will either hurt them personally or make no difference, including 57 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of independents.
A majority said they were willing, as part of a tax overhaul that cut rates, to reduce or eliminate breaks for education and childcare expenses, 401(k) retirement accounts and state and local taxes, as well as ones for mortgage interest and charitable contributions.
Respondents were most concerned with preserving the long-standing exclusion employers receive for providing workers with health insurance, though 43 percent still said they’d be willing to see it reduced in exchange for lower rates.
The survey was conducted by SSRS, an independent research company, for POLITICO and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health from June 14-18. It used cellphones and landlines among a nationally representative sample of 1,011 U.S. adults.