Press ReleaseJanuary 30, 2019

Democrats Shun 70% Tax Rate When Asked What They Should Pay If They Won $20 Million in the Lottery

Only 11 percent of Democrats agree with AOC’s 70% tax scheme in lottery scenario

Washington, DC (January 31, 2019) – When Americans were asked how much federal tax is fair to pay if you were to win $20 million in the lottery, only 10% said you should pay more than $10 million of the $20 million in taxes. 32 percent said $5 million is fair, 28 percent thought $1 million is fair and 30 percent thought you shouldn’t have to pay any taxes at all, according to the Job Creators Network/ Weekly Pulse, released today.

Even among Democrats, who according to recent Hill/HarrisX poll seemed to be in favor of Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal of a 70% tax rate on income over $10 million changed their tune when they imagined themselves with more than 10 million in income. Only 11 percent of Democrats favored more paying more than $10 million on $20 million in winnings, 33 percent thought $5 million was fair, 30% thought $1 million was fair, and 27% thought they shouldn’t have to pay taxes at all. (If Cortez’s plan was applied to the $20 million in income, the tax payer would be required to pay approximately $10.6 million in federal taxes.)

“According to our survey it’s clear that Americans are far less likely to support ‘tax the rich’ schemes when they imagine themselves as wealthy,” said Elaine Parker, President of the Job Creators Network Foundation. “This should serve as a reminder to legislators that populist tax proposals don’t always mean good public policy for the economy.”

In other questions this week, Americans showed confusion over payroll taxes.

Only 36 percent of Americans correctly identified FICA as the taxes used to pay for Social Security and Medicare and 59 percent don’t realize employers pay a matching amount of FICA taxes for each employee.

The Weekly Pulse also found that 49 percent of Americans were unsure if they paid more in federal income taxes or in FICA payroll taxes. 38 percent said they paid more in federal income taxes, while 14 percent said they paid more in FICA taxes.

“Believe it or not, 35 percent of Americans said figuring out their payroll taxes was harder than deciphering the extra fees on their cell phone bill—that’s how you know it’s confusing,” said Parker.

35 percent said it was harder to figure out payroll taxes, while 42 percent said figuring out their cell phone bill was more difficult—22 percent said they couldn’t figure out either one.

“Americans are largely in the dark about the purposes and amounts of the payroll taxes they pay, which makes debate about tax policy challenging,” said pollster Scott Rasmussen.

Other polling questions this week included:

How would you rate the US economy today? Excellent (10%), Good (35%), Fair (37%), Poor (14%), Not sure (4%).

Is the economy getting better or worse? Better (29%), Worse (30%), About the same (32%), Not sure (9%).

Okay, how would you rate your own personal finances these days? Excellent (10%), Good (36%), Fair (33%), Poor (18%), Not sure (3%).

Are your personal finances getting better or worse? Better (31%), Worse (17%), About the same (47%), Not sure (4%).

Are companies in your area more likely to be hiring new workers or laying off existing workers? Hiring new workers (39%), Laying off existing workers (19%), Not sure (42%).

For historic data on these economic questions visit:

Download full crosstabs on all of this week’s questions: