Voters overwhelmingly oppose tax hikes coming out of pandemic: Poll

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Voters overwhelmingly believe that now is not the time to increase taxes as the U.S. inches out of the coronavirus pandemic, according to polling data first shared with The Washington Times on Tuesday.

Eight in 10 voters — including nearly seven in 10 Biden voters — said now is not the time to raise taxes for new spending projects, according to a HarrisX online survey conducted from March 31-April 6.

“What the polling tells us is people have not been sold on the idea that this is necessary to do now,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “It’s not a ‘heck no forever,’ but why are we doing this when the economy is weak? Why are we doing this with new spending?”

The survey was commissioned by ATR, a prominent anti-tax advocacy group.

President Biden has proposed approximately $2.5 trillion worth of corporate tax hikes to try to pay for his $2.3 trillion infrastructure package over time. The White House maintains that making new investments and paying for them with Mr. Biden’s corporate tax plan will expand the economy and leave workers better off.

The sentiment against increasing taxes right now was shared by a range of demographic groups.

Seventy percent of Democrats and 69% of Biden voters were opposed, as were 82% of suburban voters and 79% of independents.

The percentages were higher among Republicans (89%) and supporters of former President Donald Trump (92%).

“It’s just a real punch,” Mr. Norquist said. “I mean, you wonder why the Democrats are apparently having trouble getting 50 people to agree on something that’s usually fairly easy to do — can we spend money?”

The poll asked:

As the U.S. comes out of the coronavirus pandemic and economic problems it caused, which comes closest to your view?

• Now is the right time to raise taxes for new spending projects.
• Now is not the right time to raise taxes because many businesses and individuals have not yet recovered.
 
The survey of 4,577 registered voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.45 percentage points.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated Tuesday that Mr. Biden is not budging on his pledge to spare individuals and households earning less than $400,000 per year from tax hikes.

Americans are skeptical he can follow through on that pledge, according to Quinnipiac University polling released last week.

Forty-eight percent said they believe Mr. Biden will increase taxes on people earning less than $400,000 per year and 44% said he will not, according to the Quinnipiac poll.

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