Politico reports, since at some point we’ll be done talking about health care and moving on to the rest of the Republican-controlled federal government’s alleged priorities, like ever-pressing question of “tax reform.”
Wait, that’s not a pressing question for you? Well, it turns out you’re not alone:
Republicans plan on making tax reform one of their top policy priorities this fall, but it’s far from clear that’s what voters actually want.
One in five adults said that reducing taxes for businesses and individuals should be a major focus for Congress this fall, a POLITICO-Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll found, with a higher percentage calling for action on items like lowering prescription drug costs, increasing the minimum wage and infrastructure spending.
Even among GOP voters, support for tax reform was rather muted, with far more Republicans interested in continuing the battle over repealing Obamacare. A third of Republicans called for taxes to be a key part of the congressional to-do list, roughly the same as wanted more defense spending and a focus on reducing federal debt. About half of Republicans want Congress to maintain its efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act…
The POLITICO-Harvard poll also suggests that GOP efforts to sell tax reform have so far fallen flat, with about nine in 10 Americans saying they’ve heard little or nothing about Republican efforts to craft a tax plan. President Donald Trump and key members of his administration have already visited several states in trying to spur public interest in his potential tax plan, though some of those visits occurred after the poll was conducted.
It’s clear from this poll that Americans have a broad variety of concerns, and it’s difficult to establish majority support for anything being top priority. With that said, it’s interesting to note how low on the list tax cuts fall in relation to other priorities even among Republicans–only 34% of Republicans polled calling the issue their “an extremely important priority.”
Of course once the issue of tax reform comes to the fore these numbers are likely to move, and solidify more closely along partisan lines. But even that will only show the degree to which voters can be agitated into prioritizing tax cuts over the range of other important issues on Congress’ plate, not how much the issue really matters to them. What is evident from these numbers is that American voters don’t consider themselves particularly “overtaxed” until you tell them they are.
And for as good as Republicans feel politically being on the side of ever-greater tax cuts, there’s a danger in these numbers of finding themselves out of touch with what voters really want.