Seven in ten voters want a middle-class tax cut, according to a new poll released Thursday by an outside group supporting President Trump's agenda.
The poll, commissioned by America First Policies, found that 71 percent want lower taxes for "ordinary, middle-class families," 72 percent think the existing tax code is "archaic," and 68 percent would like to see simpler code in which "millions of Americans could file their own taxes using just one sheet of paper."
These results come a day after Trump kicked off his own tax reform push with a speech in Springfield, Mo. "We're here today to launch our plans to bring back Main Street by reducing the crushing tax burden on our companies and on our workers," the president said Wednesday. "Our self-destructive tax code costs Americans millions and millions of jobs, trillions of dollars, and billions of hours spent on compliance and paperwork."
In his remarks, Trump said tax cuts were the next step to promote economic growth after his administration's flurry of deregulatory activities. "[Y]ou have seen what's happening with regulations — they're going fast," he said. "We need regulations, but many of them are unnecessary, and they're going fast."
America First Policies also conducted August focus groups on tax reform in Florida and Ohio, two states Trump won in November. Participants lamented the complexity of the existing system and said lower taxes on businesses would keep jobs in the United States.
Overall, 61 percent of those polled remained dissatisfied with the current tax system. The survey is a follow-up to an earlier one America First Policies commissioned in June.
A statement accompanying the poll results said respondents used words like "simpler," "fairer" and "streamlined" to describe the revamped tax code they would like to see.
Tax reform is going to be a major fall agenda item as Congress returns to Washington from recess. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, are among the GOP legislative leaders who have been pushing this initiative for months.
While Democrats are pounding away at tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, Trump has tried to keep the focus on lower taxes for the middle class and keeping jobs from leaving the United States. He folded his tax reform pitch into his broader "America first" agenda, which includes renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, using a Midwestern state he carried by nearly 20 points in November as the backdrop for his speech.
The president also pushed a child care tax credit, a policy popular with daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump as well as some Republicans in Congress, like Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
"Tax reform, it all depends on how successful they are on framing," Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist, told the Washington Examiner. "Over/under is after New Year."
"The American people are tired of the complex and archaic tax code and understand that a simpler, fairer tax code will deliver jobs and economic opportunity for ordinary, middle-class Americans," said America First Policies president Brian Walsh in a statement.
The poll was conducted August 16-18 among 1,200 respondents with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent.