- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have all introduced plans to increase taxes on the wealthy.
- While Republicans and wealthier businesspeople have attacked the proposals, the American public is open to the ideas, according to new polls.
- A new INSIDER poll found 37% of respondents supported Sanders’ call to increase the estate tax while 26% opposed.
- Previous INSIDER polls also found sizeable support for Warren’s and Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed tax hikes.
- Additional polls also show strong support for tax proposals aimed at the wealthy.
A growing number of progressive politicians are introducing proposals to increase taxes on the richest people in the US, and new polling shows that many people are getting on board with the ideas.
Rising star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and independent firebrand Sen. Bernie Sanders have all put forth proposals to increase taxes on the wealthy in some way. Each of the lawmakers say that the taxes could help to fight inequality and fund new programs.
Opponents have dismissed the lawmakers’ ideas, claiming higher taxes on the wealthy would be disastrous for the economy. Critics have also argued that the plans are simply trying to “soak the rich.” Two wealthy potential presidential candidates – former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Michael Bloomberg – have similarly ridiculed the proposals.
While the economics of increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans are still being debated, the popularity of these ideas are starting to grow.
Based on a series of INSIDER polls and other data, a sizeable portion of the American public seems to be on the side of Sanders, Warren, and Ocasio-Cortez.
The latest polling results are in regards to Sanders’ new idea to increase the estate tax, the tax paid by heirs on assets passed down by the deceased. Sanders’ idea would lower the threshold to qualify for the tax to $US3.5 million in assets, down form the current $US11 million.
The plan would also introduce a graduating scale of tax rates for the estates of wealthier Americans, eventually reaching a 77% marginal rate for assets over $US1 billion.
When presented with the details of the proposal, 37% of respondents supported Sanders’ policy while 26% opposed. according to INSIDER’s survey. 22% neither approved nor disapproved, while 15% responded “I don’t know.”
Not surprisingly, the idea was much more popular among self-identified liberals.
Among politically middle-of-the road respondents – those who identified as neither liberal nor conservative, slightly liberal, or slightly conservative – Sanders’ plan drew 32% support and 24% disapproval. 29% of these respondents neither approved nor disapproved.
The results on Sanders’ proposal follow on the heels of two INSIDER polls showing that Warren’s and Ocasio-Cortez’s plans have a sizeable amount of support as well.
Warren’s idea to place a 2% tax on assets above $US50 million drew the support of 54% of people in a recent INSIDER poll, with just 19% of people surveyed disapproving of the idea.
Ocasio-Cortez’s suggestion to raise the top marginal tax rate on people earning incomes over $US10 million was more polarising in another INSIDER poll. 38.7% of people surveyed supported Ocasio-Cortez’s plan, while 34.4% opposed it.
While the popularity gap was narrower than for Warren’s plan, the idea is more popular than the recently-passed GOP tax law and other polls have showed a solid base of support for the ideas:
- A Hill-HarrisX survey found that 59% of people supported Ocasio-Cortez’s idea with just 41% were opposed.
- A Morning Consult poll, released Monday, showed that 61% of people supported Warren’s idea while just 20% opposed it. Ocasio-Cortez’s broader approach garnered the support of 45% of people surveyed, and 32% of people opposed.
- A Fox News poll released at the end of January showed that 70% of people supported raising taxes on people making more than $US10 million a year, while just 24% were opposed. The poll did not specify the rate that the wealthy would pay under this scenario. The poll also found that 65% of people supported raising taxes on people making more than $US1 million a year.
The poll that asked about the Ocasio-Cortez proposal ran Jan. 15-16 and had 1,095 respondents with a margin of error plus or minus 3.11 percentage points. The poll that asked about the Warren proposal ran Jan. 22-23 and had 1,233 respondents with a margin of error plus or minus 2.95 percentage points. The poll that asked about the Sanders proposal ran Feb. 1-2 and had 1,093 respondents with a margin of error plus or minus 3.09 percentage points.
SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income
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