Americans Overwhelmingly Reject the Trump-GOP Tax Plan

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Americans Overwhelmingly Reject the Trump-GOP Tax Plan

WASHINGTON - Despite national polling that has steadily shown widespread disapproval among most Americans, Republicans have passed a deeply unpopular and partisan tax bill.

American voters have strongly opposed nearly every iteration of the Republican tax plan in poll after poll. According to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight, this measure is the least popular tax bill since 1986—even ranking below bills that raised taxes during the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.

National polls consistently show that only about one-in-three voters supports the Republican tax plan:

  • In a NBC News/WSJ poll released on December 19, just 24 percent of Americans say that the Trump-backed tax plan is a good idea, versus 41 percent who believe it’s a bad idea. The bad idea response is up 6 points from an October poll.
  • According to the latest CNN poll released on December 19, more than half—55 percent—of respondents disapprove of the tax proposals put forth by Republicans in Congress, up 10 points from a CNN poll in early November, where just 45 percent of those surveyed opposed the plan. While opposition to the plan has skyrocketed in the last month, its favorability hardly increased. In the November CNN survey, the plan had 31 percent favorability, and the December survey saw a mere 2-point increase.
  • In a survey from Monmouth University released on December 18, nearly half the public (47 percent) disapproved of the Senate and House tax bills, with just 26 percent approving of them.
  • The latest Quinnipiac University poll released on December 5 found that voters disapproved of the Republican tax plan pending in Congress by a 2-to-1 margin, with 29 percent approving and 53 percent disapproving. This is slightly worse than a November 15 Quinnipiac University poll showing voters disapproved of the plan 25 percent to 52 percent. This low favorability matches the level of approval the failed Republican health care bill had when it was defeated in August.
  • A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on December 11 shows that of those who were aware of the tax bill being negotiated in Congress, 49 percent opposed the plan, consistent with polling from previous weeks.
  • An ABC/Washington Post survey from early October found that only 33 percent support the bill.
  • Even the most favorable polling on the Republican tax plan conducted by Politico/Morning Consult, initially had the bill garnering 48 percent support in early October, now shows only 36 percent support—a drop of 12 points in less than two months.
  • A Washington Post analysis found that the Republican tax plan is the second most unpopular piece of major legislation considered by Congress in the last thirty years—second only to the Republicans’ failed health care effort earlier this year.

Why is support for the Trump-GOP tax plan so low?

Most voters believe the benefits will go to large corporations and wealthy Americans at the expense of the middle class:

  • In a NBC News/WSJ poll released on December 19, 63 percent say the tax plan was designed to mostly benefit the wealthy and corporations; just 22 percent say it will help everyone equally and 7 percent say it’s designed to help the middle class. Also, 37 percent say they believe the middle class will pay more if the bill becomes law and a majority believes the wealthy and corporations will pay less.
  • In a CNN poll released on December 19, two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents said they see the bill benefitting the wealthy more than the middle class.
  • A USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll released on December 10 showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans, or 64 percent, say the wealthy will get the most benefits—just 17 percent think the middle-class will.
  • A November Quinnipiac University survey found that 61 percent of voters think the wealthy will benefit most from this plan, compared to just 24 percent who say the middle class will benefit most. Even more striking, 59 percent think the Republican tax plan favors the rich at the expense of the middle class.
  • An ABC/Washington Post poll from November showed 60 percent think the tax plan will favor the rich above everyone else, compared to just 13 percent who think the interests of the middle class are put first.
  • In a Marist poll released on December 12, six in ten people surveyed (60 percent) believe the tax bill will mostly benefit the wealthy. About one in five Americans (21 percent) thought it will help the middle class, while only 4 percent say it will mostly aid lower-income Americans, and 15 percent remain unsure of who Republicans seek to assist with this legislation.
  • A CBS News poll from December 7 reported that a plurality of voters from all political leanings believe the Republican plan will help large corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and only one in three think it will help the middle class.
  • A conservative-leaning electorate from several 2018 Senate battleground states surveyed by GSG and Hart Research Associates in October noted that about six of every ten people polled said they thought the plan would benefit the wealthy more than the middle class, with only two in ten saying they believed it would benefit them personally.
  • Even small business owners oppose the plan, despite Republican claims that the measure is aimed at helping them. According to a Public Policy Polling survey released on November 27, 51 percent of small business owners oppose the plan compared to just 34 percent who support it. And 58 percent of small business owners believe that the wealthy and big corporations will benefit most, compared to just 32 percent who say the middle class and small business owners like themselves with gain under the plan.

Americans are skeptical of the fundamental arguments that Republicans have made in selling the bill:

  • A poll conducted by Monmouth University in December found that half the public (50 percent) anticipate their own taxes would increase under the Republican plan, and more than half of respondents said they would like Congress to abandon the current measure and start over with a bipartisan approach in 2018.
  • In the same Monmouth University survey, only 17 percent of respondents believed Republicans were making genuine effort to reform the current tax system, while 35 percent said the attempt to pass this bill is motivated by the Republicans’ desire to achieve a political victory.
  • According to a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll, 53 percent of those surveyed predicted their own families would not pay lower taxes as a result of the measure, with an equal 53 percent saying it would not boost the economy in a significant way.
  • A Marist poll released on December 12 reported that 52 percent of those surveyed thought the Republican legislation would mostly hurt their personal family finances rather than help.

While passage of the Trump-GOP tax bill is a big legislative win, it is a public relations nightmare that is likely to have significant repercussions throughout 2018. Its effect could be comparable in scale to the public opposition engendered by passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

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Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) is a diverse campaign of more than 425 national, state and local endorsing organizations united in support of a fair tax system that works for all Americans. It has come together based on the belief that the country needs comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater revenue to meet our growing needs. This requires big corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes, not to live by their own set of rules.

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