Fewer than 1 in 10 Americans share the House speaker’s enthusiasm to slash taxes for billionaires and make the middle class pay for it.
It is no secret that House Speaker Paul Ryan really, really wants to demolish the social safety net — and the Republican tax scheme that was just rushed through the Senate gets him a step closer to achieving his dream.
He is now talking about cuts to Medicare and Medicaid to reduce the deficit, even though the GOP bill, which will raise the deficit by over $1 trillion in the first place, has not even become law yet.
It is clear that this was always his game plan. A month ago, he proclaimed that he was "really excited" about getting massive tax cuts for corporations and billionaires passed, so this whole process could begin.
But Americans do not share Ryan’s enthusiasm, according to a new CBS poll released Thursday morning.
The poll finds that just 8 percent of Americans are "very excited" about the GOP tax proposal. Moreover, 53 percent of Americans and 52 percent of independents oppose the bill, and only 24 percent think it will help their own families. Even among Republicans, more think the bill will benefit large corporations than their own families by an 18-point margin.
These numbers are similar to the results from Quinnipiac, Gallup, Reuters/Ipsos, and Politico/Morning Consult. Every poll shows around half of Americans opposing the plan, and strong majorities believing it benefits the wealthy more than them.
If these numbers are not enough make Ryan wary, then the numbers on his push to cut Medicare certainly should. Polls show 90 percent of Americans oppose that idea.
This should not come as a surprise. When he was Mitt Romney’s running mate, Ryan proposed privatizing Medicare on the campaign trail, and voters overwhelmingly said no. Now, as speaker, he seems determined to commit exactly the same fatal overreach that destroyed the Republican Party once before — at a moment when polls also make clear voters already want Democrats to retake the House.
Paul Ryan might be "excited" about turning public programs upside down and looting them for his donors. But America is not on his side — and nor has it ever been.