A majority of Americans approve of Elizabeth Warren’s new tax on the wealthy, according to a new poll

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's new idea to tax the wealthiest Americans drew 54% approval in a recent INSIDER poll.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s new idea to tax the wealthiest Americans drew 54% approval in a recent INSIDER poll.
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Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren has introduced an idea to levy a 2% tax on wealthy Americans’ assets over $50 million and an additional 1% tax on assets over $1 billion.
  • According to a new INSIDER poll, 54% of Americans supported the idea, while only 19% disapproved.
  • The plan is part of a growing number of tax ideas from liberal lawmakers aimed at combating income inequality, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders suggesting similar plans.
  • The idea polled better than Ocasio-Cortez’s idea to introduce a top marginal tax rate of 70% for income over $10 million.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s first major plan since announcing a run for president was a wealth tax designed to combat income inequality and reduce the concentration of wealth among a small number of rich Americans.

Despite an ongoing ideological battle over the idea among economists and pundits, a new poll shows that a majority of Americans are in favor of the idea.

Warren’s plan would impose a 2% tax on households with assets of more than $50 million and an additional 1% tax on assets above $1 billion. According to the senator, the tax would help to not only raise revenue but help alleviate some of the inequality that has plagued the US economy in recent decades.

According to a new INSIDER poll that ran January 22 to January 23, 2019, Warren’s idea attracts a significant amount of support from Americans that were surveyed.

In order to gauge people’s reaction of Warren’s idea, INSIDER asked whether they approved of a new proposal that would apply a 2% tax on the net worth of the 75,000 households with more than $50 million in total assets. Those with over $1 billion in assets would face an additional 3% tax.

Additionally, INSIDER informed respondents that the proposal is intended to curb the concentration of wealth in the US and economists estimate it would raise $2.75 trillion over a decade.

In response, 54% of respondents approved of the idea, while just 19.1% disapproved. 14.7% of people neither approved or disapproved.

While the idea unsurprisingly was supported by 76% of respondents who identified as liberal, 56% of people who identified as neither liberal nor conservative or slightly liberal or conservative also approved of the idea. Only 8.3% of the people in the centrist ideological group disapproved.

As for self-identifying conservatives, 45% disapproved of the idea while 36% of those respondents approved of the idea.

Overall, 22% of respondents identified as very or moderately conservative, 26% identified as very or moderately liberal, with 39% as neither or slightly.

Warren’s idea is one of a slew of recent proposals by liberal lawmakers aimed at reducing inequality and increasing taxes on the wealthy.

Most notably, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested in an interview that a new top marginal tax rate of 70% should be implemented on income over $10 million.

In a recent INSIDER poll 38.7% of people surveyed supported Ocasio-Cortez’s plan, while 34.4% opposed it, meaning Warren’s idea – which is admittedly appears less dramatic on the surface – polled significantly better.

Read more: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 70% tax on the super-rich is more popular than Trump’s tax cuts, new poll shows»

Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has drawn a lot of attention regarding a possible 2020 bid, also released a tax plan aimed at reducing the concentration of wealth. The plan, put out Thursday, would focus exclusively on the transfer of wealth between generations.

Sanders’ idea would make changes to the estate tax – the tax on assets being passed from a deceased person to their heirs. The plan, called the “For the 99.8% Act” would lower the threshold to qualify for the estate tax from the current $11 million to $3.5 million and increase the rate on a graduated scale. The highest rung, which would apply to an estate’s assets over $1 billion, would be 77%.

But while these plans are being widely debated, polling for Warren’s and Ocasio-Cortez’s plans demonstrate an apparent appetite for the ideas among the general public.

In fact, both ideas poll better than the GOP tax law – named the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. That measure has a 46% disapproval rate, according to an October Gallup poll, with just 39% support.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. The poll on Warren’s plan ran Jan. 22-23, total 1,233 respondents, a margin of error plus or minus 2.95 percentage points with a 95% confidence level. The poll on Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal ran Jan. 15-16, had a total 1,095 respondents, a margin of error plus or minus 3.11 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.