Three-quarters of likely voters believe the nation’s top earners should pay lower, not higher, tax rates, according to a new poll for The Hill.
The big majority opted for a lower tax bill when asked to choose specific rates; precisely 75% said the right level for top earners was 30% or below.
The current rate for top earners is 35%. Only 4% thought it was appropriate to take 40%, which is approximately the level that President Obama is seeking from January 2013 onward.
The Hill Poll also found that 73% of likely voters believe corporations should pay a lower rate than the current 35%, as both the White House and Republicans push plans to lower rates.
The new data seem to run counter to several polls that have found support for raising taxes on high-income earners. In an Associated Press-GfK poll released Friday, 65% said they favored President Obama’s “Buffett Rule” that millionaires should pay at least 30% of their income. And a Pew poll conducted in June found 66% of adults favored raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 as a way to tackle the deficit.
But The Hill poll found that a dramatically different picture emerges when voters are asked to specify the “most appropriate” rates. ... The data could indicate a challenge to Obama’s push to increase taxes on the wealthy. ...
Republicans were more likely than Democrats to support lower tax rates for the wealthy, but voters in both parties solidly supported lower rates compared to current law. Eighty-one percent of Republicans favored tax rates below current levels, compared to 70% of Democrats.