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64% Favor Lower Tax Rates With Fewer Deductions

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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