GOP voters back Biden plan's higher taxes for the rich, polling says


A majority of likely GOP voters said they back a tax hike for those earning $400,000 or more.

Republicans in Congress have unanimously opposed President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion investment plan and his proposal to pay for it by increasing taxes on the very wealthy and on corporations. But while Republican lawmakers have denounced the tax increases as "crippling," a new poll shows that GOP voters back them.

A survey conducted Sept. 10-13 by left-wing think tank and pollster Data for Progress and Invest in America, an organization that campaigns for public investment in infrastructure, and shared Friday with the American Independent Foundation found that 62% of likely voters support Biden's proposed Build Back Better package and 30% oppose it.

While only 39% of Republicans said they back the entire plan, they supported its key provisions to expand Medicare eligibility (48%-45%), lower the costs of prescription drugs (63%-24%), and invest in caregiving for older Americans and people with disabilities (75%-17%).

By a majority of 51%-42%, GOP voters said they favor "raising income taxes on Americans that make more than $400,000," as Biden promised to do during the 2020 campaign.

Most also said they support "increasing taxes on people who earn over $1 million a year from selling stocks and bonds" (54%-38%) and "raising taxes on the wealthiest 1% of business owners by limiting what expenses they can deduct from their taxes" (52%-40%).

A 47%-45% plurality also backed "increasing the tax rate on large corporations from 21% to 28%."

A 44%-39% plurality of Republicans even indicated they would be more likely to support members of Congress who "vote to raise taxes on wealthy Americans to fund investments in healthcare for seniors, expanding the use of clean energy, and strengthening the social safety net." Among all likely voters, 62% said they'd be more likely to support such a candidate and 25% said they'd be less so.

Republicans in Congress have drawn what Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called a "red line" against any tax increases, falsely claiming that Biden's proposals would raise taxes for the middle class. Some have incorrectly asserted that the public is against the plan.

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee posted a false "fact check" on Tuesday alleging that Biden and the Democratic majority want "crippling tax hikes" that would "raise taxes on the middle class [and] small businesses."

But an analysis that same day from Congress' nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation found that that plan would actually cut taxes for middle-class Americans. The poorest Americans would see their federal taxes drop by more than 256% due to expanded anti-poverty tax credits.

If enacted, the Build Back Better plan would also invest billions of dollars in clean energy and climate change infrastructure, health care, child care, paid leave, and free preschool and community college.

Invest in America senior advisor Zac Petkanas said the survey shows "just how badly congressional Republicans are out of touch with their own supporters, who agree that the wealthy and corporations should be paying more in taxes."

"This is yet more evidence that lawmakers should spend less time listening to corporate lobbyists and more time listening to their constituents," he added.

Other polls have shown broad popular support for both the tax and the spending provisions.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.