Most Americans say they’re being taxed too much and oppose any new taxes, according to two new polls, which come as the Biden administration considers funding options to pay for big-ticket programs.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently said that President Joe Biden is looking at raising taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations—and may consider an outright wealth tax—to pay for future programs, as attention turns to funding measures for the next big legislative push—an infrastructure plan.
Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) confirmed in an interview with The Sacramento Bee that Biden is considering raising the excise tax on fuel and possibly adding a carbon tax to help pay for the infrastructure plan, which so far has no official price tag, but which analysts have projected at between $2 trillion and $4 trillion.
Biden himself confirmed in a recent interview that he’s looking to raise taxes.
But appetite among Americans for any new taxes—regardless of spending goal—is flagging, according to a new Just the News/Rasmussen poll. It shows that 52 percent of U.S. respondents said they oppose raising taxes at the present time.
Raising taxes for infrastructure spending got the most support (28 percent), followed by initiatives that would reduce climate change (19 percent), with deficit and debt reduction coming last (16 percent).
A second poll, carried out by Rasmussen, sought to gauge whether Americans feel they’re paying “their fair share” of taxes.
“Compared to people who make more or less than you, do you pay more than your fair share of taxes?” respondents were asked, with 51 percent of American adults indicating they believe they are paying more than their fair share of taxes. The percentage of Americans who feel overtaxed is down from 59 percent last year, which was the highest level since 2008 of people saying they’re being taxed too harshly.
The Rasmussen poll also showed that just 27 percent of Americans said they don’t believe they’re paying more than their fair share of taxes, while 22 percent said they’re not sure.
It comes as Biden has vowed to get Democrat votes for a tax hike, including a corporate tax cut rollback and an increase in taxes on wealthier Americans.
“Anybody making more than $400,000 will see a small to a significant tax increase,” Biden said, when asked by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos if he would raise taxes on higher earners who benefited from former President Donald Trump’s tax cuts.
“If you make less than $400,000, you won’t see one single penny in additional federal tax.”
When asked if he would get any Republican support for his tax plan, Biden replied that he “may not get it.”
“But I’ll get the Democratic votes for a tax increase,” the president said. “If we just took the tax rate back to what it was when [George W.] Bush was president—the top rate paid 39.6 percent in federal taxes—that would raise $230 billion.”
Biden’s proposed tax increases may be part of the infrastructure bill, which has already received pushback from Senate Republicans, who expect Democrats to craft the bill with reconciliation—the budget process that would let it bypass the 60-vote legislative filibuster.
“I think the Trojan horse will be called infrastructure. But inside the Trojan horse will be all the tax increases that Sen. [Rick] Scott and others have been talking about,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said March 16 at a press conference.
McConnell said he expects Democrats to use budget reconciliation, as they did with the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, which cleared the Senate with zero Republican support.
“They have one more of those available to them, and my suspicion is they will try to jam everything they can into that bill and call it an infrastructure bill,” McConnell said. “I fully expect that’s what they’ll try to do, and that’s because I don’t think there’s going to be any enthusiasm on our side for a tax increase.”
GQ Pan contributed to this report.