Americans have mixed expectations for new tax law

Written on Feb 08, 2018

A month after Donald Trump and Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the public has mixed views of the sweeping tax overhaul and its long-term impact.

There are wide partisan gaps among the public in expectations for the law’s personal and national impact. Within both parties, there are sizable differences based on family incomes.

The new survey, conducted Jan. 10-15 among 1,503 adults, found that 29% say the tax law will have a mostly positive effect on them and their families, while nearly as many (27%) say its effect will be mostly negative. A third say the law will not have much of a personal impact.

Opinions also are divided about the tax law’s impact on the country as a whole: 35% say the law will have a mostly positive effect on the country, 40% a mostly negative effect and 15% say it will have little effect.

The public’s general views of the tax law are similar to expectations for its long-term impact on the country. Overall, 37% of Americans approve of the law, while 46% disapprove; nearly one-in-five (17%) do not offer an opinion.

Partisanship is a major factor in opinions about the tax law, but differences between Republicans and Democrats are much wider regarding the law’s impact on the country (and on overall approval) than on its expected personal impact.

About half of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (52%) say the tax law will have a mostly positive effect on them and their families in the years to come. Nearly a third (32%) say that it will not have much of an effect, while 7% say the effect will be mostly negative.

Just 13% of Democrats and Democratic leaners expect the tax law to have a mostly positive personal impact, while 35% say it will not have much of an impact; 42% say they will be negatively affected in coming years.

A large majority of Republicans (71%) say the law will have a mostly positive impact on the country in coming years. And a sizable but narrower majority of Democrats (63%) say its effects will be mostly negative.

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