A recent YouGov poll, conducted March 31 - April 1, finds that most Americans are skeptical that billionaires in the U.S. pay the full amount of taxes they owe. Three in five (60%) say they don’t generally pay the full amount they owe, while only 22% say they generally do. Men are twice as likely as women to say billionaires pay what they owe, and Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to say they do. Americans in higher-income households are more likely to believe billionaires pay what's required of them in taxes than people in lower-income households.
On Monday, President Biden announced a “billionaire minimum income tax” as part of the administration’s 2023 budget proposal. The plan would levy a minimum tax of 20% on all income plus unrealized capital gains for households with a net worth of $100 million or more.
Our recent poll finds that 63% of U.S. adults somewhat or strongly support implementing a 20% tax on income over $100 million, while 20% somewhat or strongly oppose doing so. At least half of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans support this tax provision, as well as a majority of Americans across the income spectrum.
Politicians who have advocated raising taxes on the wealthy, such as Senator Bernie Sanders, have argued that billionaires should not exist. According to our survey, only 32% of Americans agree with this idea. Half of people say there are circumstances where some people deserve a billion dollars in personal wealth.
In 2019, YouGov asked a similar question in the UK and found that Britons were significantly less likely than Americans to say there are people deserving of a billion pounds: 51% said no one deserves this amount while 35% said some people do.
- Linley Sanders contributed to this article
See the toplines and crosstabs from this poll:
- Does anybody, in any circumstance, deserve to have a billion dollars in personal wealth?
- Do you think billionaires based in the U.S. generally do, or do not, pay the full amount of tax they owe in the U.S.?
- Would you support or oppose requiring American households to pay at least 20% of their income above $100 million in taxes?
Methodology: This Daily Agenda survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 7,693 U.S. adults interviewed online on March 31 - April 1, 2022. The samples were weighted to be representative of the U.S. population, based on gender, age, race, education, U.S. census region, and political party.