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More Americans Think Tax Reform Will Benefit the Wealthy Rather Than the Middle Class: Poll

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer holds up talking points from the Republican Senate tax reform bill on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, Nov. 9, 2017. Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty Images

Americans are more likely to believe the wealthy will benefit most from the tax reform currently being pushed in the U.S. Congress by Republicans who insist their goal is to help the middle class, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Thursday.

The poll found 32% of Americans think the wealthy will benefit most, compared to 14% who think all Americans will benefit and 14% who think large U.S. corporations will benefit most.

Congress is working to try to enact the most sweeping overhaul of the tax code since the 1980s that would lower taxes for millions of individual tax payers and slash the rate paid by corporations. The proposal would also eliminate most individual tax deductions, a move that could result in some taxpayers seeing an increase in their total bill to the government while others see a decrease.

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Despite an insistence by Republicans that their goal is help the middle class, only 8% of Americans think that demographic will benefit the most, the poll, which was conducted Nov. 3-8, found.

Republicans and Democrats are divided on who they think tax reform would help the most. Among Republicans, 26% think all Americans will benefit, followed by 16% who think the wealthy will benefit most, the poll found.

But among Democrats, 46% think that wealthy will benefit most, with only 7% thinking all Americans will benefit and 17% who think corporations will benefit.

And while those polled did not think that the middle class will benefit most, an overwhelming majority thought that they should.

The poll found 79% think its more important to cut taxes for the middle class than for corporations, and 76% think its more important to cut taxes for the poor than for corporations.

However, 76% said it was more important to cut taxes for corporations than it was to cut taxes for the wealthy.

When it comes to specific changes, the poll found that 46% of Americans oppose limiting the mortgage interest deduction, compared to 35% who support the change.

The strongest opposition came to the Republican proposal to eliminate deductions for medical expenses, with 54% saying they are against the change and 32% saying they support it.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted in early November online in English throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,608 adults and has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3 percentage points.

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