Federal lawmakers working on next fiscal year’s federal budget would be wise to take note of the attitudes of American taxpayers: results from a USA Today/Gallup poll released on Friday showed most Americans oppose the elimination of federal common income tax deductions, even if those deductions could reduce the income tax rate or federal deficit.
Regardless of whether eliminating certain deductions could either result in a reduction of the overall federal income tax rate or help to reduce the federal deficit, Americans were consistently opposed to such measures. Here’s how those results broke down:
|Tax Deduction||% Favor||% Oppose|
|Home mortgage interest||31%||61%|
|State and local taxes||30%||62%|
|Tax Deduction||% Favor||% Oppose||Tax Deduction||% Favor||% Oppose|
|Home mortgage interest||31%||61%||State and Local Taxes||33%||58%|
|State and local taxes||30%||62%||Home Mortgage Interest||33%||60%|
|Charitable contributions||26%||71%||Charitable contributions||29%||68%|
The poll results also showed that Republicans are more likely to oppose elimination of the mortgage interest deduction over Democrats or Independents, while the party differences were much less apparent for the other two deductions. What’s even more surprising about the poll results is that a substantial number of Americans who don’t even benefit from such tax deductions still oppose eliminating them, with opposition approaching or exceeding 50%.
The poll’s conclusion? Eliminating common tax deductions is a surefire way to piss of the American taxpayers. Despite this lawmakers are still holding onto budget proposals that would to exactly that. In the case of President Barack Obama, his tax reform proposals would limit itemized deductions for the wealthiest 2% of Americans, while Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan would basically call for the elimination of a number of popular deductions as part of a plan to trim $5.8 trillion in spending over the course of ten years.