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Majority of voters support wealth tax, oppose free college: poll

Greg Nash

The majority of American voters in a new poll say they support a wealth tax, but would oppose free college.

A new Quinnipiac University national poll of voters released Tuesday found that 60 percent of respondents support a 2 percent annual tax on individuals for any wealth over $50 million, while 34 percent oppose the idea. 

{mosads}Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, unveiled her proposal for a wealth tax earlier this year, pitching it as a way to generate revenue that would “build opportunity for the rest of America.” Economists estimated to Warren that the tax would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years.

Warren has also voiced support for universal free college, unveiling a plan last week that would allow Americans to attend public college without paying any tuition or fees. Other candidates, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have also pushed the possibility of tuition-free college.

But Tuesday’s Quinnipiac poll shows less public support for free college than for a wealth tax, with 52 percent of respondents saying they oppose free college and 45 percent saying they support it.

An even higher share — 54 percent — said they would oppose making public colleges free if it was paid for by a new tax on wealthy individuals.

A majority of voters in the poll (57 percent) said they would support a loan forgiveness program, similar to part of Warren’s plan, that would see the federal government forgiving up to $50,000 in student loans for individuals in households making less than $250,000 a year. But a slight majority said they would oppose such a plan if it were paid for by a wealth tax.

“It’s almost a tossup, but if a vote were taken on free public college, the educated guess is that it would go down,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement.

Warren came in second place among Democratic candidates in the poll, with 12 percent of respondents saying they would vote for the Massachusetts senator. The poll placed her slightly above fellow progressive Sanders, who came in at 11 percent, but far behind front-runner former Vice President Joe Biden, who topped the list with the support of 38 percent of respondents.

The poll’s results are based on surveys of 1,044 voters from April 26-29. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Tags Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren free public college Joe Biden Quinnipiac University National Poll Wealth tax

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