A slim majority of Americans (52%) oppose President Donald Trump’s recent tax reform proposals, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, while only one-third (34%) say they support the Trump plan.
Support is split largely along party lines: eight-in-10 Democrats (81%) say they oppose the plans, but seven-in-10 Republicans (70%) say they support them. Independents break against the proposals: 50% opposed to 35% in favor. About 14% say they don’t have an opinion.
Indeed, half of Americans disapprove of the way Trump is handling taxes, the highest level in CNN polling so far, while only 36% say they approve of his job performance on taxes. This is similar to a 34% approve to 47% disapprove split on the issue in September.
After the high-profile failure of legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, Republicans from Capitol Hill to the White House are eager to chalk up a legislative victory in the coming months.
“I would like very much to see it be done this year,” Trump told reporters on Monday in the Rose Garden. “But don’t forget, it took years for the Reagan administration to get taxes done. I’ve been here for nine months.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed on that aim.
“The goal is to get it done this calendar year. But it is important to remember that Obama signed Obamacare in March of year two. Obama signed Dodd-Frank in July of year two. We’re going to get this job done,” he said alongside the President.
The impact of tax reform
Only one-quarter of Americans (24%) believe they and their families will be better off if Trump’s tax plans are signed into law; more expect to be worse off (31%). A plurality (37%) say they and their families will be about the same should the plan pass.
The poll finds Americans tilt negative on the plan’s prospects for the national economy as well, but by a smaller margin. While 35% say the economy would get worse under the plan, 31% think it would get better.
But nearly four-in-10 (38%) say the Trump tax plan will increase the federal budget deficit — an outcome that has led some Republicans in Congress to say they would not support the plan. Three in 10 overall (31%) say the deficit would remain about the same if the plan is enacted, and two-in-10 (22%) say it will shrink the deficit.
A broad framework released by Republicans would consolidate the number of tax rates from seven today to just three: 12%, 25% and 35%. The plan would also increase the standard deduction, increase the child tax credit and repeal the alternative minimum tax. The proposal would also drop the corporate tax rate to just 20%, which could increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years, according to Senate Republicans.
The President’s tax returns
About 67% of Americans believe the President should release his tax returns for public review, down from 74% in January.
The shift comes largely among Republicans: Only 38% now say Trump should release his taxes, down from 51% right before Inauguration Day. Most Democrats (91%) and independents (66%) say he should release his tax returns.
Under pressure from Democrats, and some in his own party, to release tax returns during the campaign, Trump said the Internal Revenue Service was auditing his returns and repeatedly promised to release them after the audit was completed.
The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS by telephone October 12 to 15 among a random national sample of 1,010 adults. The margin of sampling error for results among the full sample is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.