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64% Favor Lower Tax Rates With Fewer Deductions

Monday, August 15, 2011

Changes in the tax code are likely as Congress debates ways to cut the federal deficit, and most Americans are willing to sacrifice a few deductions in exchange for lower tax rates.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 64% of American Adults think it’s better to have lower tax rates and very few deductions than to have higher rates and lots of deductions. Only 16% prefer higher tax rates and more deductions. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

But 49% of Americans oppose the elimination of all tax deductions in exchange for lower tax rates. Twenty-three percent (23%) like the idea, but another 29% aren’t sure.

A plurality also stops short of supporting the elimination of all tax deductions for higher income Americans in exchange for lower tax rates. Thirty-two percent (32%) think it’s a good idea to lower tax rates for all Americans and eliminate deductions for those who earn more than $100,000 a year, but 43% disagree. One-in-four adults (24%) are not sure if it’s a good idea or not.

Even more Americans oppose the idea of singling out certain businesses for special treatment. Just 21% think it’s better for the economy if the government provides targeted tax breaks to help certain companies and industries. But 66% say it’s more beneficial for the economy if the government treats all companies and industries on an equal basis. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on August 12-13, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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