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Clinton vs. Trump: Americans render verdict on dueling tax plans

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Americans favor Hillary Clinton’s tax plan to tax the wealthy over Donald Trump’s by more than a two-to-one margin, according to new research.

WalletHub discloses this finding in an online survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,040 Americans. The research uncovers what Americans think of the current U.S. tax system, how to improve it and whether their ideas align with Clinton’s or Trump’s plans.

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More than two-thirds (67.87 percent) of respondents polled by WalletHub favor Clinton’s plan to tax the rich, compared with 32.13 percent for Trump’s, when the name of the candidate proposing the plan is disclosed to the participants. The survey results are similar when both plans are presented but the name of the candidate proposing a plan is undisclosed: 70.35 percent in favor of the Clinton plan, compared with 29.65 percent in favor of the Trump plan.

Turning to corporate taxes, more than 7 in 10 (71.47) percent of respondents favor Clinton’s plan, as compared with 28.53 percent for Trump’s, when the name of the candidate proposing the plan is disclosed to the participant. As with taxes on the wealthy, virtually the same percentage of respondents favor the same plan when the candidate’s name associated with the proposal is undisclosed: 72.50 percent in favor of the Clinton plan, compared with 27.50 percent in favor of the Trump plan.

The issue of fairness is “now in the hands of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who over the course of their campaigns have proposed very different plans for tax reform,” the report states.” In brief, Clinton wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, whereas Trump claims he will cut marginal taxes on both ordinary taxpayers and businesses.”

As to the current Internal Revenue Code, more than 75 percent of WalletHub respondents rated it as  “complex” or “extremely complex.” Nearly half of respondents (47.8 percent) said the fairest possible tax code would have fewer deductions than currently available.

The fairness issue is a top concern for most of those polled. More than half of Americans (56.74 percent) view tax fairness as more important than whatever is best for the economy (22.63 percent) and tax equality (20.63 percent).

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Among the survey’s additional findings:

  • One in four Americans (26.27 percent) support a flat income tax. By comparison, almost three-quarters prefer a more progressive option.

  • Men (30 percent) are more likely than women (23 percent) to prefer a flat tax.

  • Nearly three-fifths of respondents (57.18 percent) say corporations should face higher tax rates than consumers.

  • 9 in 10 respondents say income from investments should be taxed at least as much as wages. And more than half (57.09 percent) said wages and investment income should be taxed equally, while a third (33.01 percent) said investment income should be taxed more than wages.


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