Americans are ready to tax the rich

Asia's Tech News Daily

As debate over Democrats’ Build Back Better Act has intensified, the $3.5 trillion social spending bill has remained strikingly popular in polls. That may be both a blessing and a curse for lawmakers because it’s now clear that the bill will need to shrink to pass. And like Congress, Americans don’t all agree on which of its big-ticket items are most important.

© Paul Morigi/Getty Images for MoveOn A September MoveOn “Hold the Line” rally encourages members of Congress to pass President Joe Biden’s entire Build Back Better recovery package.

But at least one thing seems clear from public surveys: People want to pay for the bill by taxing the rich.

A Vox and Data for Progress poll, conducted October 8-12, found that 71 percent of voters support raising taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans to pay for the bill. Eighty-six percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Republicans backed the idea. Other tax provisions focused on the wealthy that could be included in the bill — such as tax increases on corporations and capital gains — found 65 percent or more support overall.

Sixty-three percent of voters in the poll said they supported the $3.5 trillion overall plan that includes spending on health care, long-term care, child care, and clean-energy jobs.

© Ethan Winter/Data for Progress

It’s less clear which priorities voters most want to spend that money on. When asked to choose the most and least important parts of the Build Back Better Act’s many policies, taxing the rich was most frequently cited as a top priority, with 13 percent of respondents choosing the measure. (The poll surveyed 1,224 likely voters and had a sampling margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.)

Expanding Medicare benefits to cover dental, vision, and hearing also showed strong support, with 12 percent of respondents ranking it the highest priority, and another 12 percent picked policies to increase access to long-term care for older adults and people with disabilities. Republicans were especially supportive of the provisions for health care and long-term care for older adults, compared to Democrats, who most frequently cited the tax increases and clean-energy measures as top priorities.

Democrats face tough choices in keeping a promise of “transformative” policies in the Build Back Better Act: Do programs need to be made permanent, increasing their price tag? Should funding child care or prekindergarten win out over expanding Medicare benefits? How fast must the country move to cut fossil fuels and fight climate change?

This is Democrats’ first chance in years at crafting major legislation not directly tied to the pandemic — and given the electoral map’s skew toward Republicans, it could be their last for another decade.

The popularity of the Build Back Better Act so far may or may not make it easier for lawmakers to get the bill over the finish line. In the Vox/Data for Progress poll, voters were presented with arguments for and against removing a particular provision to reduce costs, such as Medicare benefits expansion or clean-energy policy. Only about a third of voters or fewer supported the cuts. And respondents showed a diversity of opinion on what’s most important in the bill.

That likely reflects the fact that Democrats’ big bill touches on important issues for people at various stages of life, said Ethan Winter, a senior analyst for Data for Progress.

© Ethan Winter/Data for Progress

Winter noted that a policy like free prekindergarten would be especially favored by a young parent, while expanding Medicare benefits appeals more to older adults — who make up a larger swath of the electorate. The somewhat stronger support for tax increases on the wealthy and spending on care for older adults suggests those ideas are a core appeal of Democratic politics, for both the party’s base and swing voters.

“People elect Democrats because they will raise taxes on the rich to do modest economic redistribution, and [policies] for seniors are always very popular,” Winter said.

Polls have shown solid majority support for most pieces of the bill as standalone policies. (The child tax credit expansion has seen majority approval but seems to fare worse in polling when voters are explicitly asked about making the expansion permanent.)

The bill’s popularity could shift as Americans learn more about it and are exposed to partisan messaging; an October CBS News poll found that few Americans say they know much about what’s in the bill, and only a third think it will affect them directly, despite many provisions focused on helping middle- and lower-income families.

And there’s a potential warning sign for Democrats in a new Gallup poll: In a September survey, 52 percent of voters said the government is doing too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses — basically returning to the average level in the survey in the past decade. In 2020, as the pandemic pummeled Americans and the economy, 54 percent of voters said they wanted the government to do more.

On climate issues, 57 percent of voters said tax credits for electric cars in the Build Back Better plan would make them more likely to purchase one.

Sixty-three percent of voters in the Vox/Data for Progress poll expressed support for the clean electricity program that is a key component of the bill’s climate crisis strategy and now appears in danger of being scrapped or significantly cut back. When asked about removing this provision of the bill after hearing arguments for and against government intervention in the energy industry, 53 percent of voters wanted to keep the clean electricity plan, and 36 percent wanted to remove it.

Democrats’ bill is popular. So why are they shrinking it?

Americans largely seem to like the Build Back Better Act. Most don’t seem fazed by the $3.5 trillion price tag. The strong support for tax increases on the rich — after big tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations under President Donald Trump — suggests skeptical centrist Democrats may have other concerns in backing cuts to the bill.

The precariousness of the bill largely comes down to Democrats’ very thin majorities in the House and Senate. That gives Joe Manchin, a senator from a Trump-voting coal state, the power to dictate demands on climate provisions as well as the overall size of the bill.

It also means another centrist senator, Kyrsten Sinema, is a key figure in the negotiations, even though it’s not totally clear what she wants in the bill — and she left this week for Europe on a fundraising tour. (While Manchin’s approval in his home state of West Virginia has remained fairly steady overall, Sinema’s resistance to the legislation has caused her approval rating to plummet among Democrats and prompt stirrings of a primary challenge in Arizona, a state more evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.)

Manchin, Sinema, and other moderate Democrats have sometimes appeared at odds with each other on tax increases and how to pay for the bill, making things even more complicated.

At New York magazine, Eric Levitz chalks pushback by some House Democrats up to America’s skewed representation in Congress and the decline of labor as a lobbying force. Plus, perhaps, old-fashioned stubbornness: Many Democrats in Congress came of political age in the era of Bill Clinton, deficit reduction, and welfare reform. “I think that’s why we can’t have ($3.5 trillion worth of) nice things: Labor is weak, Congress is malapportioned, and some old rich Democrats have annoying beliefs,” Levitz wrote.

No matter what happens with the Build Back Better Act, it won’t end debates around what pursuing popular policies really means. Even if the final bill is embraced by the public, it might not lead Democrats to electoral victory, either.

But if Democrats are just looking for legislation that most Americans want, taxing the rich to pay for policies that help families, seniors, and the planet seems like a safe bet so far.

Update, October 16, 9:40 am: This story has been updated to reflect news that the Build Back Better Act’s clean-electricity program may be cut, and to include a new Gallup poll on the role of government.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

No Undi 18, automatic voter registration for Sarawak polls, says EC

© Provided by MalaysiaNow The Election Commission (EC) today said the lowering of the minimum age for voting and automatic voter registration will not be implemented for the upcoming state ... Read more »

Kerajaan teruskan program pembangunan francais mikro, mampu milik

© Provided by Sinar Harian PUTRAJAYA – Kerajaan berhasrat meneruskan program pembangunan francais mikro dan mampu milik pada tahun hadapan, di samping memastikan lebih ramai menerima manfaatnya terutama dari kumpulan ... Read more »

Harga ayam dan telur kekal sepanjang Disember ini: Persatuan

© Provided by Sinar Harian KUALA LUMPUR – Persekutuan Persatuan Penternak-penternak Malaysia (FLFAM) memberi jaminan untuk mengekalkan harga ayam dan telur sepanjang Disember ini. Penasihat FLFAM, Tan Sri Francis Lau ... Read more »

Minister ‘disappointed' at reports Macron called Johnson a ‘clown'

A Cabinet minister said she was “surprised” and “disappointed” at reports French President Emmanuel Macron had branded Boris Johnson a “clown”. Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey was responding to ... Read more »

Unity man accused of having inappropriate contact with 13-year-old

Dec. 1—A 48-year-old Unity man was arrested this week by Greensburg police after he was accused of having inappropriate contact with a 13-year-old girl. Thomas B. Greenwood was charged after ... Read more »

Waukesha South student hurt in parade returns home from hospital

A Waukesha South High School student was celebrated as he was released from the hospital, injured in the Waukesha Christmas parade attack as he marched with his school band. Read more »

Maris Racal gets busy with both her love life and career!

Maris Racal finds success in both her love life and career as she continues to have more projects while in a loving relationship with Rico Blanco. © Provided by LionhearTV ... Read more »

Bb. Pilipinas holds double homecoming celebration for Cindy & Maureen

© STAR/ File Bb. Pilipinas holds double homecoming celebration for Cindy & Maureen The Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) recently hosted a homecoming party for Miss Intercontinental 2021 Cinderella Obeñita ... Read more »

HENRY DEEDES sees Keir Starmer bore at PMQs

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo For over 18 months, I have studied Sir Keir Starmer at close quarters and have reached the opinion he is an unconscionable bore. ... Read more »

Coronavirus news live: South Africa sees ‘exponential increase' in Covid cases, dominated by Omicron variant

© Photograph: Kim Ludbrook/EPA A woman walks in the Soweto neighbourhood in Johannesburg, South Africa, as the country reports a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases, dominated by the Omicron variant. ... Read more »

Mass. man sentenced to 35 years again after retrial in Aroostook slaying and robbery

Dec. 1—A Massachusetts man convicted a second time in September of murder and robbery in the 2016 death of an Oakfield man during a marijuana deal was sentenced Wednesday to ... Read more »

Online mortgage startup Better reportedly laid off 9% of its staff — about 900 employees — as its plan to go public looms

© Better Better CEO Vishal Garg. Better Mortgage startup Better is laying off 9% of its staff, or about 900 people, TechCrunch reported. The company recently hired 7,000 people and ... Read more »

Markets back in green aided by GDP numbers

Mumbai: Indian equities rose over 1% on Wednesday, dodging the overnight sell-off on Wall Street after US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell signalled the central bank will consider accelerating the ... Read more »

Local bodies need more financial autonomy: RBI

Municipal and local bodies have performed well in handling the pandemic hence there may be a case for raising their financial autonomy and reforms of municipal finances for better public ... Read more »

Covid-19: US reports first case of Omicron variant in returning traveller

© Provided by Khaleej Times Reuters file A person in California who had been vaccinated against Covid-19 became the first in the US to have an identified case of the ... Read more »

Private banks take lead in rate transmission

Private sector banks have been leading the way in reducing cost of funds in the past year of pandemic even as state-run banks are not far behind. While the overall ... Read more »

Jussie Smollett: man says actor recruited him and brother to fake attack

© Charles Rex Arbogast Actor Jussie Smollett arrives at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse for day three of his trial in Chicago. AP A man who worked with Jussie Smollett gave ... Read more »

Covid-19 Omicron variant: Hong Kong bans non-residents from 3 more countries

© Provided by Khaleej Times Reuters Hong Kong will ban non-residents from entering the city from Japan, Portugal and Sweden from Friday, adding to a fast-expanding list of countries facing ... Read more »

A Health Care Power of Attorney Is Essential for Aging Parents—Here's Why

© Getty Images Selecting medical powers of attorney is an important step aging parents should take to ensure they get the care they want if they are unable to advocate ... Read more »

The First Omicron Case Has Been Detected in the US—Here's What to Know About the Newest COVID Variant

© Getty Images The World Health Organization recently announced Omicron is the latest coronavirus variant of concern, but experts stress there is still a lot we don’t know, including how ... Read more »

Ösi-Star spricht über Peking-Boykott: «Für Olympia würde ich auch nach Nordkorea fliegen»

© Bereitgestellt von Blick «Für Olympia würde ich auch nach Nordkorea fliegen» Es ist ein aussergewöhnlicher Moment. Vincent Kriechmayr hat gerade eine Bestzeit auf der schwierigsten Abfahrt der Welt aufgestellt ... Read more »

Colton Underwood took 'medication daily' hoping to suppress homosexuality

Colton Underwood struggled so much with his sexuality that he started abusing medications. In his new Netflix docuseries, “Coming Out Colton,” the former “The Bachelor” star says, “I was suppressing ... Read more »

Ashley Graham Does Yoga While Pregnant With Twins—Here's Why an Ob-Gyn Calls It a 'Really Good Exercise'

© Getty Images There are certain yoga poses you should avoid while pregnant, though. © Provided by Health Getty Images Model Ashley Graham has made it a point to stay ... Read more »

Wendy Williams claims 'lots more Wendy stuff' is coming as she leaves 'wellness center'

Wendy Williams claims she’s “doing fabulous” amid reports that her eponymous talk show is on verge of being canceled.  While being surrounded by friends and family, the TV host was ... Read more »

Firms opting for small Christmas parties this year

© Getty Images A number of big businesses are holding smaller Christmas parties within departments, rather than larger, company-wide events. Uncertainty over the Omicron Covid variant has added to safety ... Read more »

Cyclone Jawad: IMD issues red alert for heavy rainfall in some Odisha districts

© Provided by Hindustan Times The IMD has issued a red alert for Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts. (AFP Photo/File/Representative use) Odisha government on Wednesday asked collectors to prepare ... Read more »

Gujarat: Indian firm's e-tablets fail quality test, NAMO scheme delayed again

© Provided by The Indian Express The Gujarat government’s project to provide NAMO e-tablets to undergraduate students has been delayed further after the devices manufactured by an Indian company failed ... Read more »

In Cong test for aspiring spokespersons: Questions on party's history, Indian freedom struggle & RSS

© Provided by The Indian Express In the written assessment test that aspiring Congress district spokespersons are facing as part of the party’s Bane UP ki Awaz (Become the voice ... Read more »

US reports first case of Omicron COVID variant, Americans told to get vaccinated

© Provided by Zee News Washington: White House Chief Medical adviser, Anthony Fauci has urged Americans to get vaccinated or boosted against Covid-19 as the first US case of Omicron ... Read more »

Kolkata Municipal elections: Denied tickets, 2 Trinamool leaders enter fray as Independent candidates

© Provided by The Indian Express Denied tickets by the Trinamool Congress to contest the upcoming Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) polls, outgoing councillor Ratan Malakar and late minister Subrata Mukherjee’s ... Read more »

Omicron has arrived — but there's no reason for broad restrictions

Omicron is spreading: Officials confirmed the first case in the United States on Wednesday. Yet there are also signs it may not be as harmful as some feared. Which means ... Read more »

Steven Cohen finally sounding like The Boss Mets fans wished for

The most telling moment in Wednesday’s virtual introduction of Max the Met came at a time you wouldn’t expect. It confirmed for the public record that Steve Cohen, after a ... Read more »

Debt collectors OK'd to use social media to reach borrowers

There are strict guidelines governing how a collector can reach out on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Read more »

3-year-old shot in Fort Worth's Stockyards area dies, medical examiner's office says

A 3-year-old girl who died on Wednesday at a hospital was accidentally shot in the Stockyards area in Fort Worth, authorities said. Cassity Jackson died in the Cook Children’s Medical ... Read more »

NEW: Fauci WARNS of Omicron cases changing RAPIDLY, 68% concerned about new variant

On today’s What America’s Thinking, a new Hill-HarrisX poll reveals 62 percent of voters are concerned about the Omicron variant. Read more »

Louisville man sentenced in child porn case involving young girls in Australia and Greece

UPDATE: A federal judge sentenced Dickson on Nov. 29, 2021, to 32 years in prison. A Louisville man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly pretended to be an 11-year-old on ... Read more »

Custom Builder Go Takamine Delivers Brat Style 2022 Indian Chief

Brat Style Indian Chief: 2022 Indian Chief Limited – Tank Brat Style Indian Chief: 2022 Indian Chief Limited – Side, Left Brat Style Indian Chief: 2022 Indian Chief Limited – ... Read more »

European business says technical standards 'new battleground' for China, rest of world

© Reuters/ALY SONG People walk along at financial district of Lujiazui in Shanghai SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A European business group said on Thursday that technical standards were a “new battleground” ... Read more »

When Jesus is used to steal from his flock

© BBC To his listeners, William Neil “Doc” Gallagher was known as the “Money Doctor” – a charming financial guru who advertised his services on Christian radio, broadcast all over ... Read more »

5 celebrity break-ups that shook Hong Kong – from Nicholas Tse, Cecilia Cheung and Faye Wong's Canto-pop love triangle, to Kenneth Ma and Jacqueline Wong's couple scandal

Kenneth Ma dumped Jacqueline Wong after she was caught kissing fellow star Andy Hui, while Sammi Cheng eventually forgave her husband for cheating Miriam Yeung had her ex Ronald Cheng ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic