A recent Morning Consult/Politico poll found fairly broad support for an ambitious federal infrastructure bill, paid for by tax increases on the wealthy and big corporations. In an interesting twist, excluding the tax hikes made the plan less popular, not more.
Or put another way, as we recently discussed, ask people about President Joe Biden's infrastructure plan, and they say they like it. Let people know that the Biden infrastructure plan includes tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy, and they say they like it more.
Of course, that was just one survey. Would other independent data point in similar directions? As a matter of fact, yes. Take the new, national Quinnipiac poll, released yesterday, for example.
A plurality of Americans (44 - 38 percent) support President Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan, while 19 percent did not offer an opinion. However, support grows for the infrastructure plan if it is funded by raising taxes on corporations, as Biden has proposed. In that scenario, a majority support the infrastructure plan 53 - 39 percent, with 9 percent not offering an opinion.
Poll respondents were initially asked, "Do you support or oppose President Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan?" A 44% plurality expressed support for the plan. But the next question asked respondents, "As you may know, President Biden has proposed funding his infrastructure plan by raising taxes on corporations. If it was funded by raising taxes on corporations, would you support or oppose President Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan?"
At that point, support jumps from 44% to 53%.
"The president's infrastructure bill, a $2 trillion national makeover, gets a lukewarm go ahead from Americans, but a warmer reception when the suggestion that big corporations, not taxpayers, should be forced to front the funding," Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said.
Looking over the crosstabs, there were, not surprisingly, dramatic partisan differences -- Democratic voters are far more likely to endorse their party's infrastructure plan than GOP voters -- but it's worth emphasizing that even among self-identified Republicans, support for the White House's plan jumped from 14% to 22% after hearing about increased corporate taxes.
The same poll went on to ask, simply, "Do you support or oppose raising taxes on corporations?" The results showed a two-to-one split: 62% support a corporate tax hike, 31% do not.
And while there was another predictable partisan split, more than a third (34%) of Republican voters said they support raising taxes on corporations, and a narrow majority (53%) of white voters without college degrees -- a constituency that made up the bulk of Donald Trump's political base -- agree.
All of this is of particular relevance right now because Congress is weighing Biden's American Jobs Act, and Republicans are fiercely opposed to any proposal that raises the corporate tax rate, which the GOP slashed in their regressive 2017 tax plan.
The problem, obviously, is that Republicans have found themselves on the opposite side of the American mainstream.
John Anzalone, the top pollster for Biden-Harris 2020, told Axios this week "his extensive polling and research has found that few issues receive broader support than raising taxes on corporations and people earning more than $400,000 a year."
The report added that Anzalone believes "the White House need not treat the tax increases on the wealthy as some kind of necessary evil. Rather, Team Biden should brag about this because the idea is so broadly popular."
The evidence to bolster the point is unambiguous.