Five things everyone actually agrees on about tax reform
Posted November 2, 2017 1:10 p.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) — When it comes to tax reform, Americans may actually be (a little) more united than you'd think.
Of course, there are plenty of contentious facets of the federal tax system that bring out the stark divides in our political landscape: Should cut taxes now or at all? Would corporations actually use tax savings to create jobs? Should the wealthy get a tax hike or cut?
But there are at least a couple issues that receive majority support from Republicans, Democrats and independents.
These numbers come from a recent CBS News poll conducted from Oct. 27-30 among 1,109 adults. The margin of error is ±4 percentage points for the full sample; it is larger for subgroups.
Here are five things that majorities of both parties and independents all actually come together on about tax reform.
1. They don't want to cut taxes on the wealthy (that is, unless they get the "same" cut)
It's no surprise that broad majorities of Democrats and independents want taxes raised on the wealthy. But it might be surprising that even a (massive) eight in 10 Republicans want them either increased or kept the same.
That means only one in 10 Americans overall -- from 5% of Democrats and 19% of Republicans -- say they want to see the wealthy get a tax cut.
The draft of the GOP tax plan unveiled on Thursday keeps the top tax bracket at 39.6%.
It's worth noting that, in a separate question, majorities of both parties and independents are OK with cutting taxes for the wealthy "as long as everyone else gets the same cut."
Of course, the devil is in the meaning of the word "same" -- which could mean the same percentage or the same dollar amount -- but have drastically different implications.
2. They want lower taxes for small businesses and the middle class -- but not large corporations
In a nutshell, people in both parties and independents come together to say they want taxes lowered on the middle class and small businesses -- and they don't want them lowered on large corporations.
A broad 69% of Republicans, 57% of Democrats and 56% of independents say taxes on the middle class should be decreased. Even more back cutting taxes on small businesses, including 80% of Republicans, 68% of independents and 59% of Democrats.
But when it comes to large corporations, six in 10 Democrats and independents support hiking taxes. Even two in three Republicans say they should either be increased or kept the same.
The draft of the tax plan unveiled on Thursday slashes the corporate tax rate to 20%.
A minority of Republicans, 30%, do support cutting taxes for large corporations, vs. 15% of independents and only 7% of Democrats who feel the same way. Similarly, only a third of Republicans say corporations are paying more than their fair share in federal income taxes.
3. They don't think tax cuts for corporations will help them personally
One of the main arguments behind cutting taxes for major businesses is the expectation that increased job and economic growth will eventually help your own personal pocketbook. But most Republicans, Democrats and independents don't buy it.
A broad 86% of Democrats, 75% of independents -- and even 52% of Republicans -- say that tax cuts for large corporations will either indirectly hurt them or not have much of an effect.
Almost half of Republicans, 46%, do think it would indirectly benefit them, but that falls to less than a quarter of independents and one in 10 Democrats.
4. They're worried that tax cuts will increase the deficit
But while majorities back tax cuts for small businesses and the middle class, there's one thing they're worried about: budget deficits.
Most Democrats (73%), independents (63%) and Republicans (52%) say they are "very" or "somewhat" concerned that tax cuts would increase the deficit.
Some conservatives in Congress have expressed concern about any plan that would increase the budget deficit. The Trump administration says that increased economic growth could offset the loss of tax revenue, but other analysts say Trump's estimates are too optimistic and Congress must do more to close loopholes in order to make the plan revenue neutral.
5. They don't want higher taxes on their 401k accounts
Don't hike taxes on my retirement savings: That's the clear message from across the political spectrum when asked whether upping taxes on 401k accounts is a good idea.
A broad 85% of Republicans, 84% of independents and 82% of Democrats say they wouldn't approve of lowering the cap on pre-tax contributions to retirement accounts. Only one in eight Americans said they'd approve of the decision.
The House bill on Thursday does not include a floated idea that would have lowered the cap on pre-tax contributions from $18,000.