Why Run on Taxes
Voters know that the economy is rigged for the rich
A whopping 75% of Americans (including 70% of Republicans and 81% of Democrats) believe that our government mostly serves special interests and lobbyists, not the people. A 2018 poll showed that only 22% of Americans believe that the government serves the public interest.
…And they’re sick and tired of it
According to additional polling on money in politics and taxes, voters are overwhelmingly more likely to vote for candidates that take a stand against corruption and the influence of big money special interests. In 2018, Republican National Committee Polling showed they were losing on taxes, declaring: “Republicans lost the messaging battle on the [tax] issue,” and “By 61% to 30% voters said the Trump-GOP tax cuts benefit “large corporations and rich Americans” over “middle class families.”
This failure was a huge boon for Democrats in the 2018 midterms. Four members of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee were defeated, including some of the key architects of the Trump-GOP tax cut law. Four other committee members barely hung onto their seats after winning by double-digit margins in 2016.
Voters were angry about the GOP tax bill in 2018…
Voters weren’t fooled by the 2017 GOP tax bill. As the bill’s tax cuts began to actually take effect, voters realized how little benefit they were actually getting from the law, and that short-lived bump in popularity faded. Numbers from a June 2018 POLITICO/Morning Consult poll show that just 37% of voters supported the law (down from 44% in April). Support even fell among Republicans in that same time frame. By October 2018, 64% of Americans said they received no increase in their paychecks.
…And they voted decisively on it in the Midterms
The tax bill was a huge boon for Democrats in the 2018 midterms. Democrats won a historic majority in the House of Representatives because voters motivated by frustration with the GOP tax bill showed up in droves. Exit polling on election night found that the 62% of voters reported their top negative issue was concern about how GOP tax bill.
Four longtime members of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee – previously thought invulnerable – were defeated, including some of the key architects of the Trump-GOP tax cut law. Four other committee members barely hung onto their seats after winning by double-digit margins in 2016. In total, 22 incumbent Republicans who ran on the tax bill lost their seats to challengers who emphasized the GOP tax bill in their campaigns.
Voters are still angry about the GOP tax bill
This frustration with our rigged tax system isn’t going away. When asked in April 2019 how they viewed the GOP tax bill, over half of Americans said they either disapprove or strongly disapprove of the plan. 62% of Americans strongly support reversing the bill altogether, according to a March 2019 poll. Predictably, regular people still aren’t seeing the benefits falsely promised to them. Only 17% of Americans say they saw their taxes go down, and half of all small business owners say the tax law didn’t benefit them, but instead helped out big corporations at their expense.
Taxes are a top issue
A poll by Lake Research Partners in July of 2019 found a remarkable 87% of all voters think taxes are an important issue that needs to be discussed more. Voters responded to an ALG Research survey in March of 2019, saying that their third highest priority was “making the rich pay their fair share in taxes.”
Tax cuts for the rich are not popular
The September Morning Consult/Politico poll also showed that 61% of respondents believe the wealthy pay too little in taxes, with only 14% saying they pay too much. A plurality of voters say the rich not paying their share is the top issue when it comes to paying taxes, completely dwarfing “complexity.” That famous Ted Cruz line about filling out tax forms on the back of a post card probably lands with DC think tank employees, but not voters.
People understand that the GOP Tax Plan primarily helps the rich
A January 2018 poll by Reuters/Ipsos shows that 58% of Americans think that the changes to the tax law primarily benefit corporations and the wealthy. Just 13% believe that it mostly helps the middle class.
Taxpayers aren’t seeing big increases in their paychecks
79% of respondents in a March 2018 Gallup poll said they had either not seen an increase in their take-home pay, or that the increase they’ve seen hasn’t helped their personal financial situation. Just 6% say that the increase has helped their financial situation a lot. That number didn’t improve, with just 25% of voters in June poll that same year POLITICO/Morning Consult poll saying they’ve seen an increase in their paychecks because of the law. The law was so confusing a plurality of Americans, 43%, remain unsure whether the new tax law has even affected what they pay in federal income taxes.
Voters are concerned about Wall Street’s influence on the Tax Code
In a May 2018 poll, Lake Research Partners found that a majority of voters in battleground states, including significant majorities in districts rated as both “Lean” and “Likely” Republican, say they are more likely to vote for candidates who support reforming Wall Street’s influence in the government, and their role in perpetuating economic inequality. 71% of respondents found a message that highlights the benefits delinquent Wall Street banks gained from the GOP tax bill convincing.
People are concerned about the Tax Law’s effect on Medicare and Medicaid
According to a poll by Not One Penny, when told of the bill’s potential to cause cuts for Medicare and Medicaid, 61% of voters have serious doubts about the bill.
Voters are getting more upset about the Corporate Tax Rate
In 2017, Morning Consult/Politico polling showed 60% of registered voters think corporations don’t pay enough in taxes. But this poll was conducted when the corporate tax rate was still 35% –it has since been dropped down to just 21%, and recent Gallup polling shows now 69% of Americans say corporations pay too little in taxes. In March of 2019, Pew Research Center found 82% of Americans are at least bothered “some” or “a lot” by corporations not paying their fair share.
Almost no one is getting raises because of the GOP Tax Plan
Just 2% of Americans believe they have received a raise or a benefit increase because of the TCJA, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.