Lawmakers are still arguing over the size, scope and content of President Biden’s social and economic agenda, but new poll data shows the majority of Americans are already agreeing on how to pay for it: by taxing the rich .
In a poll of 1,226 likely voters conducted last week by Vox and data for progress, more than 70% of those polled expressed support for taxing high-income households to help pay for the Democrats’ plan to spend up to $ 3.5 trillion on various social programs. Seventy-two percent supported âstronglyâ or âsomewhatâ the idea of ââincreasing the capital gains of well-off households, while 71% supported increasing income taxes on the richest 2% and limiting income taxes. deductions for business owners.
A majority also expressed support for increasing IRS funding to ensure businesses and the wealthy pay the taxes they owe, and for increasing the corporate tax rate.
Less certainty on specific proposals: While 63% of those polled said they strongly or somewhat supported Biden’s Build Back proposal – which the poll described as a “$ 3.5 trillion proposal that would expand Medicare benefits to include vision, hearing and dental care, making long-term care for the elderly and people with disabilities, health care and child care more affordable, extending tax cuts for families with children and creating jobs in the ‘clean energy’ – there was less agreement on the most important elements of the plan.
The one provision that has received the most support is raising taxes, which 13% of respondents chose as their top priority. Twelve percent chose to expand health insurance as a top priority, while 12% said funding for long-term care for the elderly and people with disabilities was the most important.
Other things that some Democratic lawmakers deem crucial, such as funding for child care, universal kindergarten and free community college, have received less support, with less than 5% of respondents saying they were a top priority.
Sanders accuses the press: While polls show a majority of Americans generally support the Biden program, they also show that the public doesn’t know much about the details of the plan. This will only make the Democrats’ job all the more difficult as they try to figure out which provisions to cut and which to leave as they work to reduce the size of the overall plan.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) released a statement on Friday accusing the media of failing to explain the Biden plan to the public, echoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who made a similar accusation earlier this week .
âPoll after poll shows overwhelming support for the $ 3.5 trillion Build Back Better,â Sanders said. “And the poll numbers rise to astronomical levels when people realize that this $ 3.5 trillion bill will be paid by demanding that the rich and big corporations start paying their fair share of taxes.”
But “the mainstream media has done an exceptionally poor job of covering what is really in the law,” Sanders accused. âThere have been countless stories about the Build Back Better adoption policy, the role of the president, conflicts in the House and Senate, opposition from two senators, the size of the bill, etc. – but very limited coverage because what are the provisions of the bill and the crises for workers they address. “
Claiming that the Biden plan is “one of the most important pieces of legislation for workers in the modern history of our country,” Sanders called on the press to explain it better. âThe American people have a right to know what’s in it,â he said. “I hope the mainstream media will and will fulfill their responsibilities.”
But, but, but: Sanders ‘criticism undoubtedly has some truth to it as the media have covered extensively the Democrats’ intra-party disputes and the politics surrounding the two main pieces of legislation. But these disputes have also created massive uncertainty as to exactly what the Build Back Better plan will and will not understand.