Poll finds overwhelming support for tax reform and infrastructure spending

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A strong majority of voters support overhauling the tax code, with an emphasis on simplifying it, according to a new survey.

The latest Harvard-Harris poll on Friday found that 89 percent of voters polled say the country is in need of tax reform.

Forty-five percent of those surveyed said the priority should be simplifying the tax code, followed by 31 percent who said reform should aim to stimulate jobs and 24 percent who said it should cut taxes.


Fifty-eight percent in the poll support lowering corporate rates and incentivizing companies to bring foreign profits back into the country.

There is broad support for lowering the highest individual tax rate from 39.9 percent to 35 percent, provided certain deductions are eliminated.

“The poll shows that there is majority support for dropping the top rate back to 35 [percent] in exchange for fewer deductions and for business tax cuts so long as they bring their overseas profits back home,” said Harvard-Harris co-director Mark Penn.

“The public, however, is reticent to give up any specific deductions, making a cap of deductions the best way to move forward,” he continued. “The public wants a simpler tax code and more — not less — government revenue.”

The White House is going all-in on achieving tax reform before the end of the year.

The GOP-controlled Congress has been unable to pass any of Trump’s legislative priorities to date and there is an urgency to score a victory ahead of the 2018 midterms.

Trump will also be looking to get some red-state Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018 on board with the effort.

Infrastructure spending could be another area of compromise, although that issue has moved to the back burner.

Eighty-four percent of those polled say the country needs to invest more in infrastructure. Seventy-six percent say it should be funded through a combination of government spending, bond issuances and public-private partnerships.

“The public supports President Trump’s ideas of paying for infrastructure investments with bonds and public-private partnerships rather that just using current government revenue,” said Penn.

The Harvard-Harris Poll online survey of 2,177 registered voters was conducted from Sept. 17 to 20. The partisan breakdown is 37 percent Democrat, 31 percent Republican, 28 percent independent and 4 percent self-identified as “other.”

The Harvard-Harris Poll is a collaboration of the Harvard Center for American Political Studies and the Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with the Harvard-Harris Poll throughout 2017.

The Harvard–Harris Poll survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.


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