New Report: Most Americans Skeptical that New Tax Cuts Will Help Them

Study also finds that the public at large, including Republican voters, favor tax cuts for the middle class and poor rather than corporations.

Washington, D.C. – The Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, a research collaboration of leading analysts and scholars from across the political spectrum, released a new report: “Not Buying It: What Americans Really Want From Tax Reform,” by Felicia Wong, president and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute. The report includes analysis of survey data from 2018 about Americans’ attitudes toward the tax reform bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump last December.

Key findings from the report include:

  • A majority of voters are skeptical of the new tax law’s benefits for themselves and their families; 66 percent say the law will leave them worse off or the same. A majority, 56 percent, are also skeptical that the law will benefit the economy more generally.
  • Almost two-thirds of the general public, and one-third of those who voted for Donald Trump, believe that the middle class will be worse off or the same under the tax cuts.
  • Voters overwhelmingly want lower taxes for the middle class — 90 percent or more agree on this aim. Most voters want lower taxes for the poor. At the same time, they want tax reform that stimulates the economy. A large majority also think a tax plan ought to reduce the federal deficit.

“Americans’ views about taxation have evolved,” Wong said. “We found that a majority of voters want more from our tax system and tax reform than leaders in either party seem to understand. The central feature of the new tax law is a permanent cut in the corporate tax rate, as well as individual rate cuts whose benefits accrue primarily to the wealthy. These run contrary to what voters want and what our economy needs.”

The study also found that 73 percent of all voters, including 55 percent of Republicans, do not believe that cutting taxes for the wealthy ought to be a priority. The majority of voters do not prioritize cutting taxes for corporations, which is the centerpiece of the Republican approach. Voters are skeptical that these kinds of cuts will help the economy.

About the Survey and Analysis:

This report is published by the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group. It is based on the Voter Study Group’s 2018 VOTER Survey (Views of the Electorate Research Survey). In partnership with the survey firm YouGov, the VOTER Survey interviewed 6,005 Americans between April 5 and May 14, 2018, 4,705 of whom have been interviewed previously and 1,300 of whom were part of an additional sample of 18- to 24-year-olds and Hispanics.