A growing number of American consumers believe plans to raise taxes on the wealthy will hurt the economy

While raising taxes on the wealthy is a key campaign promise for nearly all democratic presidential candidates, consumers are more likely than in previous years to say the plans won’t help the economy in 2019, according to a new survey from the university of Michigan.

About 43 percent of consumers interviewed in the final months of 2019 said higher taxes on the wealthy could help the economy, down from 49 percent a year ago, according to data released Friday. The percentage of respondents who said higher taxes on the wealthy would hurt economic growth rose to 31 percent from 22 percent in 2018.

Support for higher taxes on the wealthy has dwindled, potentially a problem for democratic candidates who almost invariably advocate higher income, estate and capital gains taxes on top earners. Tax preferences could change based on consumers’ perceptions of economic forecasts.

“The decline in 2019 May reflect consumers’ judgment on the Democrats’ specific plan to reduce inequality by raising taxes during the primary debate,” said Richard Curtin, director of consumer research at the university of Michigan. “Still, reducing inequality is more likely to appeal to consumers.”

Robin Bell

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