More American voters want the Republican party to remain in charge of the economy and tax policy, according to an NBC News/WSJ poll released Monday evening. The two media outlets found that 35 percent of Americans believe the Republican Party is better suited to handle the economy, compared with 28 percent who think Democrats have the better economic policies.
Roughly four months ago, Democrats had the upper hand. Thirty-five percent of American voters thought Democrats were the better choice in December — the same month Republicans passed the 2017 tax reform bill. The party now holds a slim 2 percent advantage over Democrats on the question of who has the better tax policy. Democrats had a 4 percentage point advantage in December.
Americans remain divided on whether or not the 2017 tax reform bill was a net-positive. Only 27 percent of Americans think the bill was a good idea, while 34 percent say they don’t know enough about the bill and 36 percent say it wasn’t a good idea.
A slim majority of Americans — 53 percent — think it is likely a negative because of expectations that it will greatly increase the federal deficit. Americans also believe the bill was a giveaway to the wealthy and major corporations.
Recent findings from government oversight officials work to back up Americans’ growing federal deficit concerns. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office expects the Republican tax reform bill and 2018 congressional budget agreement will grow the economy over the coming years, but also add nearly $2 trillion to federal deficit over the next decade.
The CBO released analysis earlier in April detailing how the federal budget deficit will be $804 billion in 2018 and exceed $1 trillion in 2020. Publicly held U.S. debt will total $28.671 trillion by the end of 2028, amounting to over 96 percent of U.S. gross domestic product that year.
Republican tax cuts are expected, as leadership has repeatedly claimed, to grow the economy over the next two years. Real GDP will expand 3.3 percent in 2018 and 2.4 percent in 2019. Starting in 2020, those gains are expected to taper off. The CBO expects real GDP to grow 1.8 percent in 2020, continuing at an average annual rate of 1.7 percent from 2020-2026.
While the deficit remains a concern, the tax bill has shown and is expected to show some other net-benefits for the American people. Hundreds of corporations and small businesses announced bonuses and wage increases following the bill’s signing last December, although many have decried the moves as simply a public relations stunt.
Americans filed their first tax returns under the new Republican tax plan Tuesday, a first litmus test for voters and politicians as to how effective the tax cuts will end up being. Tax cuts are also expected to bring nearly $2 trillion in capital held overseas back to the United States, according to a United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments report.
The U.N. expects the Republican tax law could lead to the repatriation of roughly $2 trillion in funds that American multinationals are holding overseas. U.N. analysts attribute their predictions to the dramatic cut to the U.S. corporate tax rate that took effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
A version of this article previously appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.