Washington, D.C. – As Congress fast approaches a government shutdown, today a poll published that challenges the notion of what is politically advantageous when it comes to cutting funding (link here). Economic Security Project Action Collaborated with Groundwork Action to support the poll that Hart Research published. The poll found that voters oppose candidates using cutting IRS funding as an excuse to shut down the government, with 55% opposition among all voters and independents, opposing such a shutdown by a two-to-one margin.
On top of this, outside of the appropriations fight, when voters were asked whether they would look more or less favorably upon a candidate if they blocked funding for a free online tax preparation option, 56% of voters said they would view the candidates less favorably, compared with 10% who would view the candidate more favorably, a margin of 46 points. This stat should have a heavy influence on how Congressional leadership approaches the looming government shutdown and the development of the IRS’s Direct File pilot in 2024.
“For years, the IRS has been used as a political punching bag, with politicians attacking the agency’s funding so that their wealthy friends can skip out on paying their fair share of taxes. Our poll shows that attacking the IRS may help with the wealthy tax cheat vote, but it will cause candidates to lose favor with everyday voters,” said Adam Ruben, Director of Economic Security Project Action, which collaborated on the survey with Groundwork Action. “Congress should focus on what voters want, ensuring that the government works for the people and providing free and simplified tax filing. Honest taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay fees just to do our taxes.”
“Our poll demonstrates that taxpayers have rejected the House GOP’s ideological attacks against the IRS and are demanding a modern agency that delivers benefits, offers a responsive customer service experience, and increases efficiency in the processing of tax returns,” said Igor Volsky, Executive Director of Groundwork Action. “Lawmakers who continue to defund the IRS in order to empower wealthy tax cheats and prioritize the needs of the ultrarich will be held accountable by voters at the ballot box.”