According to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC news poll, more Americans view the Republican tax overhaul as a bad idea than a good one, and that could be an issue for the GOP as they fight to preserve their majorities in the House heading into midterm elections. While respondents still indicate that they view the Republican Party as better equipped than Democrats to make policy on tax, trade and other economic issues, the survey suggests that that the GOP may need stronger ammo than the sweeping December tax cuts.
Trump's tax overhaul, passed in December, reduced the corporate tax rate by 35% to 21% and incentivized billions of dollars in overseas cash repatriation from more tax-friendly jurisdictions. The legislation freed up massive amounts of cash for America's most powerful corporations, prompting a merger and acquisition spree and a record amount of share buybacks. The tax plan also temporarily reduces tax rates on some individuals.
The new NBC/WSJ survey, which polled 900 adults over April 8 to 11, found that just 27% of Americans back the tax cuts, down from 30% who thought that they were a good idea in January. Another 36% called them a bad idea, while the rest offered no opinion on the matter. When asked to consider its potential effects, a larger portion of individuals expressed dissatisfaction with the tax overhaul. Fifty-three percent of respondents foresee a negative impact from higher deficits and disproportionate benefits for the wealthy and big corporations. (See also: US Budget Deficit to Top $1 Trillion by 2020: CBO.)
Falling Short in Trump Country
Last month, GOP strategists found the tax cuts ineffective against the Democratic candidate during a special House election in Pennsylvania, deciding to drop the issue as Election Day approached. The Democratic candidate prevailed in a district that Trump won in the 2016 presidential race by 20%. Meanwhile, Trump continues to suggest that he’s “very serious” about a "stage two" of the tax cuts.
When asked about which party they want to control the Congress this fall, respondents of the NBC/WSJ poll favored Democrats by 7 percentage points, 47% to 40%. Trump's approval in the report dipped to 39%, while disapproval was at 57%. (See also: Tax Cuts Prompt Biggest Merger Spree in Decades.)