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Polls: GOP Tax Bill Least Popular In Decades

Polls: GOP Tax Bill Least Popular In Decades Promo Image

New polling indicates most Americans disapprove of the Republicans' proposed tax overhaul. While Senate Republicans are readying to vote two tax plans into conference, a congressional analysis has found the proposals would add $1 trillion to the federal deficit in the next decade.

On Dec. 1, Republican Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky signaled he and his colleagues were ready to hold a floor vote on their tax legislation that day.

"We have the votes," McConnell said on Capitol Hill, according to NPR.

If Senate Republicans successfully pass their legislation with a simple majority, they can place the bill, along with the House Republican version, into conference and fashion a finalized plan for President Donald Trump to sign into law. New polling indicates that a majority of Americans are not supportive of the GOP proposals to change the tax code.

FiveThirtyEight, after aggregating five national surveys released in November, found that only 32 percent of national adults support the GOP tax plan while 46 percent are opposed, making it the least popular tax legislation since 1981.

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In the last 36 years, the most popular change to the tax code was the Reagan administration's tax cuts in 1981, which 51 percent of Americans supported and only 26 percent opposed. Before the latest GOP tax cuts, the least popular changes to the code since 1981 were two tax hikes.

In 1990, former President George H.W. Bush agreed to raise taxes despite promising not to do so in his 1988 campaign. At the time, 41 percent of Americans supported the tax hike and 52 percent opposed. The decision was widely perceived to have partly cost Bush re-election in 1992. Former President Bill Clinton's raising of taxes in 1993 was similarly unpopular.

The current GOP bill is the first tax cut to receive a net negative approval rating. The proposal would permanently cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent and temporarily reduce individual rates until 2025. It would also repeal the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and eliminate several deductions, according to CNN Money.

The Joint Committee on Taxation, the official congressional scorekeeper, estimated that by 2027, Americans who make between $40,000 and $50,000 a year would pay $5.3 billion more in taxes than they do today. Meanwhile, Americans who makes $1 million or more a year would pay $5.8 billion less.

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The bill is also projected to add $1.4 trillion to the federal deficit in the next 10 years. Senate Republicans have asserted that the economic growth stimulated by the tax cuts would offset any loss in federal revenues.

On Nov. 30, JCT estimated the tax bill would generate only $408 billion in economic growth over a decade, meaning that the tax cuts would result in result in a net $1 trillion added to the federal deficit, CNBC reports.

Julia Lawless, a spokesperson for the Senate Finance Committee, stated that GOP lawmakers disagreed with the estimate. She also asserted that the "findings of the JCT are curious and deserve further scrutiny."

Senior fellow C. Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute, a former official of the Treasury Department during the Reagan administration, noted that the GOP tax plan included several provisions not related to taxation to make it more attractive to Senate Republicans who would otherwise be hesitant.

"There's a Christmas-tree aspect to the bill," Steuerle told The New York Times. "People want to add certain things, and if they don't cost a lot, it's a way to buy in agreement."

Former JCT chief of staff Edward Kleinbard blasted the GOP tax plan as "a kiss to the donor class."

Sources: CNBC, CNN MoneyFiveThirtyEight, The New York TimesNPR / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr / Embedded Images: Smithsonian/Wikimedia Commons, Chris Potter/Flickr

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