By Justin Sink
In recent days, Republican leaders have signaled a new willingness to increase the effective tax rate on the wealthiest Americans. But some of the proposed ideas — including a cap on deductions — are proving less popular than simply raising tax rates.
Only 43 percent of registered voters support reducing the deductions that people can claim on their federal income taxes, while more than half — 51 percent — oppose such a plan. That proposal was floated by Mitt Romney during the presidential campaign, and has since been embraced by some Republican leaders in Congress.
Democrats and independents are somewhat more likely to support the plan, with 45 percent of each signaling some support for the scheme, but only 39 percent of Republicans back the plan. The proposal is especially unpopular among those making more than $100,000 per year, with 58 percent of those taxpayers opposing limits on deductions. Interestingly, the only demographic group where more than half of respondents supported limiting deductions was college graduates — 54 percent were in favor — despite education tax credits being potentially affected by such a deal.
Still, limiting deductions proved a far more popular proposal than the suggestion to raise the age for Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67. That plan, championed by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), drew wide-scale opposition across party lines.
Some 69 percent of registered voters say they oppose such a plan, with half of all adults saying they strongly oppose raising the age to qualify for Medicare coverage. Some 71 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of Republicans oppose the plan, with just 34 percent of independents saying they would support such a measure.
The plan is especially unpopular among adults ages 40-64, of whom 72 percent oppose the proposal. Nearly six in 10 adults in that age range say they strongly oppose raising the age for Medicare coverage.
The plan fares better among seniors who have already earned Medicare benefits — only six in 10 oppose it — and adults aged 18-39, where 31 percent say they would support raising the eligibility level.