Partisan differences over the perceived fairness of the tax code have become far more pronounced since the passage of the 2017 tax law, which was signed into law by President Trump with no support from Democratic lawmakers.
While public opinions about taxes have changed only modestly overall since 2017, a new analysis from Pew Research finds that Republicans and Democrats now have sharply divided views on the issue.
“Two years ago, Republicans and Democrats had similar views of the fairness of the tax system,” Pew said. “Today, 64% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the present tax system is very or moderately fair; just half as many Democrats and Democratic leaners (32%) view the tax system as fair.”
The divergence is most pronounced at higher income levels. More than two-thirds (68%) of Republicans with incomes over $75,000 now say the tax system is very or moderately fair — a big jump from 37% in 2017. Only 21% of Democrats with incomes over $75,000 agree, down from 40% two years ago.
The partisan divide can also be seen in questions about the fairness of the U.S. economy. “Currently, 63% of Americans say the ‘economic system unfairly favors powerful interests,’ while just 34% say it is ‘generally fair to most Americans.’ About twice as many Democrats (81%) as Republicans (40%) say the country’s economic system is unfair,” Pew said.