Washington, D.C. – As a candidate for president, Joe Biden promised that any American making less than $400,000 per year would not see their tax increased by so much as “one thin dime.” Now that he’s in office that promise, predictably, is out the window.
The plan the president is backing, while yet to be finalized, includes proposals to increase the taxes paid by individuals and corporations, to hike the tax on capital and investment, and, in a separate move, to re-incentivize American business to relocate offshore.
As “tax happy” as the Biden administration proposals may be, the Americans on whose behalf the president says he is making them are not thrilled. By a margin of 80/20, voters in a new poll say they are opposed to any new taxes or tax increases as the U.S. emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.
The poll of 1,916 registered American voters conducted Sept. 3-6 by HarrisX for the non-partisan group Americans for Tax Reform found that when asked to pick whether “Now is not the right time to raise taxes because many businesses and individuals have not yet recovered” or “Now is the right time to raise taxes for new spending projects” better represented their views, 80 percent of those surveyed chose the former over the latter.
The strong majority opposed to tax hikes could be seen in most demographic groups participating in the survey including 86 percent of women, 85 percent of voters make less than $75 thousand per year, 83 percent of independents, 82 percent of suburban voters, 74 percent of Hispanics, 70 percent of people who said they voted for Joe Biden, and 69 percent of those who identified themselves as Democrats.
Analysts suggest these numbers should be of concern to the White House which, of late, apparently considers the drop in Biden’s approval numbers temporary and largely connected to the administration’s handling of the U.S. withdrawal of Afghanistan which, most polls show, is seen as an embarrassing failure by most Americans.
The decline in Biden’s numbers, as well as the lack of enthusiasm among the public for the tax hikes Democrats say are necessary to raise some of the revenue needed to pay for the $3.5 trillion in new spending, will make it harder to enforce the unity needed among Democrats to get the budget plan currently before Congress through.
In the past week, several Democrats who believe they must at least appear to be pushing back on the new taxes and spending have voiced their doubts publicly about the bill. Sen Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., whose vote is critical to getting the legislation known on Capitol Hill as “reconciliation” passed.
Machin has repeatedly expressed doubts about the $3.5 trillion spending package and recently called for a “pause” in negotiations on the bill, a move the bipartisan group “No Labels” group said had the support of 60 percent of voters it contacted in a recent survey who, they said, would prefer having more time to learn about what the proposed package of new taxes, spending, and regulation would do if it were enacted.
Peter Roff can be reached at RoffColumns AT GMAIL.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeterRoff.