Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 76 percent of registered voters believe that the wealthiest Americans should pay more in taxes. (Photo: Michael Fleshman/Flickr/cc)

Not 'Left-Wing Fantasy' But 'Mainstream and Really Popular': Poll Shows Enormous Public Support for Higher Taxes on Rich

"Raising taxes on the wealthy isn't just good policy. It's also good politics."

Jake Johnson

Likely 2020 contenders and progressive members of Congress have proposed a variety of plans in recent days to make the rich pay more in taxes and begin reversing soaring inequality—from a wealth tax to a 70 percent top marginal rate to a higher estate tax on the richest families—and a survey published on Monday found that such ideas are extremely popular among the American public.

According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 76 percent of registered voters believe that the wealthiest Americans should pay more in taxes, and 61 percent back Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) new proposal for an annual tax of two percent on assets over $50 million—which she dubbed the "Ultra-Millionaire Tax." The poll found that even 50 percent of Republican voters support Warren's plan.

While Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) call for a 70 percent top marginal tax rate on the wealthiest Americans polled less favorably overall—garnering 45 percent support among all respondents—the new survey found that the proposal is extremely popular among Democratic voters, with 60 percent backing it.

Such high public support for hiking taxes on the richest Americans significantly undermines the claim that proposals like Warren's are somehow too "radical" for the public to accept. As Common Dreams reported last week, billionaire former Starbucks CEO and possible 2020 presidential candidate Howard Schultz decried Warren's plan as "ridiculous."

"Proposals to boost taxes on the rich are not [a] left-wing fantasy," Politico's Ben White noted on Twitter. "They are mainstream and really popular. Time to think about things differently."

In an interview with Politico, Warren said she is not surprised by widespread public support for higher taxes on the richest Americans, who recently received yet another enormous gift in the form of President Donald Trump and the GOP's tax cuts.

"It's not surprising to me at all. Washington has been working so long for the billionaire class that people around here cannot imagine crossing them," said the Massachusetts senator. "It never even becomes a topic of conversation. The ultra-millionaires have gotten so much from this country that it's not unreasonable to ask them to give back a little bit."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Top Central Banks Told to Stop 'Bankrolling' Deforestation

"At a time when the climate crisis is ravaging countries across the world, it is unacceptable," a Global Witness campaigner said of the institutions' corporate bond-buying practices.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Obscene,' Says Sanders After CBO Reports Richest 1% Now Owns Over 1/3 of US Wealth

"In the richest country on Earth, the time is long overdue for us to create a government and an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1%."

Brett Wilkins ·


Experts Sound Alarm Over 'Growing Threat' of Genetically Engineered Trees

"Development of genetically engineered trees is advancing despite the serious risks to our forests and continued opposition around the world," said one advocate.

Kenny Stancil ·


Alarming Report Warns 1 in 8 Bird Species Now Facing Extinction

"We have already lost over 160 bird species in the last 500 years," the report's lead author warned, "and the rate of extinction is accelerating."

Brett Wilkins ·


Fresh Demands for 'Climate Emergency Declaration' as Monster Hurricane Ian Comes Ashore

"How can we call this anything but what it is—a climate emergency?" asked the Sunrise Movement.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo