With last week’s House passage of an Obamacare replacement measure, Republicans are jazzed again about redoing the U.S. tax code, too.
The GOP, however, might have some work to do beyond Capitol Hill. It seems that many Americans are not that impressed with Donald J. Trump’s tax plan.
Not a warm reception: A Florida Atlantic University (FAU) nationwide online survey conducted just days after the White House’s April 26 release of its tax plan found that 41 percent of respondents opposed it.
Only 34 percent supported it, while 25 percent were unsure.
Those who do support the Trump Administration’s tax rewrite, which actually right now is more of an outline, tend to be older and wealthier.
Older, richer are more supportive: Those 50 years of age or older support the plan 41 percent to 39 percent, while those younger than 50 oppose it by a margin of 44 percent to 28 percent, according to FAU’s Business and Economic Polling Initiative (BEPI).
Trump’s tax proposal received 64 percent support from folks making more than $125,000, but only 46 percent of those earning $75,000 to $125,000 like it.
Only 16 percent of poll respondents who earn less than $25,000 are for the proposed tax changes.
Not fans of top tax rate cut: And while two-thirds of those surveyed said taxes were too high (28 percent said they were just about right and 5 percent said they were too low), they don’t necessarily agree with the way Trump and the Republicans want to change the system.
More than 40 percent of those polled disagreed with the idea that lowering taxes for higher earners and corporations can stimulate the economy, leading to economic growth and greater wealth for everyone.
In fact, according to FAU’s survey, roughly half of the respondents oppose the plan’s call to reduce the top marginal tax bracket from 39.6 percent to 33 percent.
“Americans are a little bit skeptical of trickle-down economics,” said Dr. Monica Escaleras, director of BEPI. “They don’t believe cutting taxes to the wealthiest individuals and corporations will benefit households across all income levels.”
Americans also are split on the proposal to repeal the 3.8 percent tax on investment income, which applies to individuals making $200,000 or more, $250,000 or more for married couples filing jointly. This so-called Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) was created under Obamacare and raised $18.3 billion in 2015 to help fund the Affordable Care Act.
Thirty-four percent who took the FAU poll support the NIIT, 37 percent oppose the surtax and 29 percent not sure.
Thumbs up for deductions: There is, however, more definitive support for some popular tax deductions.
The survey found 53 percent are for the Trump/GOP proposal to double the standard deduction that people can claim on their income tax returns.
And more than two-thirds of the FAU poll respondents support the continued deduction for mortgage interest.
Show up the tax returns: There’s also a clear majority when it comes to the new Commander-in-Chief’s personal returns.
Sixty-five percent of respondents said they would like to see Trump release his own tax information before he makes any changes to the tax code.
Since that’s the most decisive percentage in the poll, that 65 percent who want at least a peek at Trump’s 1040s is this week’s By the Numbers figure.
Much tax change work to do: This is the second public opinion poll that finds many Americans are dubious about Trump’s tax proposals.
The disparate tax reform opinions in the FAU poll also underscore a political reality that has bedeviled lawmakers for ages.
“Historically, Americans have had very different views on the best approaches and what makes the tax system equitable,” said Dr. Kevin Wagner, associate professor of political science at FAU and a BEPI research fellow. “President Trump has a long way to go in order to convince Americans to follow the White House proposal.”
Do you agree with what the FAU BEPI poll found? Which, if any, parts of the Trump tax plan do you support? Where do you think the White House and GOP need to do more work?
You also might find these items of interest:
- Happy 27th birthday tax reform
- Ways & Means chairman sees tax reform retroactive to start of 2017
- IRS commissioner talks tax reform, simplification and additional taxpayer digital options