The White House should openly discuss raising taxes on the rich and make it a standout feature of President Joe Biden's $3 trillion-plus spending plan, John Anzalone, the top pollster for Biden's presidential campaign, told Axios on Sunday.
Anzalone said his extensive polling and research found that few issues receive greater support from voters than increasing taxes on corporations and those earning more than $400,000 a year and emphasized that going on the offense regarding tax hikes could immunize Biden from Republican attacks, increase his popularity and help congressional Democrats, ideas with which the president's inner circle appears to agree.
Because “Democrats, in general, are afraid of the tax issue… we let the Republicans brand us as wanting to raise middle-class taxes," Anzalone said.
He insisted it was a mistake for Democrats to be defensive about the issue, because “we can take control of the tax narrative like we did in the Biden campaign — which was to say, 'No, that's not true, your taxes aren't going to increase, it's only those who are making over $400,000 and big corporations, who haven't been paying their fair share of taxes over the years.'"
Anzalone also said such a quick pivot to "tax fairness," which Biden's team used every time the Trump campaign attempted to criticize him on taxes, served the president well.
In any case, Anzalone said, the GOP will try to brand Democrats as "tax increasers" no matter what they do, so Biden would be best served by trying to frame the tax debate himself.
Anzalone said that "The middle class is tired of carrying the tax burden for the country. They are pissed off. They aren't anti-rich or anti-corporate. They are anti-not paying your fair share."
He added that voters, "know the rich and big corporations have the power, accountants, lawyers and tax law on their side to avoid paying their fair share" and "they just want those holes plugged and a fair rate so the country can make investments in the economy, health care and education."
Multiple surveys back up Anzalone's contention, including a November poll by The New York Times and Survey Monkey that found 67% of Americans support raising taxes on those making $400,000 or more, including 70% of independents and 45% of GOP supporters and Republican leaners.
In any case, Biden has already proposed raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. Although he hasn't yet announced his individual tax proposal, during the campaign he proposed increasing the top individual tax rate for incomes above $400,000 from 37% to 39.6%, which would restore it to where it was before former President Donald Trump successfully cut it in 2017.
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