A recent CNBC survey shows a majority of the country’s millionaires support a wealth tax — on assets above $50 million or more, but that number falls drastically when the bar is lowered to $10 million. U.S. millionaires also favor former Vice President Joe Biden over incumbent President Donald Trump in a surprising theoretical head-to-head 2020 matchup, though, Trump’s support among the country’s most affluent has risen from 32% to 36%.
Millionaires Support Wealth Tax on Assets Above $50M
About 59% of millionaires support a wealth tax on fortunes above $50 million, the baseline marker for Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax, which would be 2%, rising to 6% on fortunes above $1 billion.
However, when the number is lowered to a wealth tax on fortunes above $10 million, about 48% are opposed.
Not surprisingly, attitudes toward the wealth tax are generally dependent upon political party. A whopping 88% of millionaire Democrats favor the wealth tax. Conversely, only about one-third of millionaire Republicans favor the tax.
Of course, a big majority of millionaires already feel like they are taxed plenty, with 60% saying they pay enough and one-third saying they pay more than their fair share, with Republicans being more likely to feel like they overpay.
And the richer respondents were, the more likely they were to oppose the wealth tax.
“Most people who are worth $10 million or less don’t feel wealthy, even though they are relative to the population,” Spectrem Group President George Walper said. “And so they feel they should not be penalized. But they do think that people worth $50 million or more are wealthy and should pay more.”
Millionaires Favor Biden Over Trump
While Trump is the favorite candidate of America’s millionaires, a separate portion of the same survey shows they actually favor Biden over the incumbent in a head-to-head 2020 matchup.
Asked which candidate they’ll support in 2020, 36% chose Trump, up from 32% in May, while 14% said Biden and 8% said Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
But when asked who they would support in head-to-head matchups, Biden topped Trump 48% to 41%, including 18% of Republican millionaires who like the former vice president more.
Trump topped all other Democrats in head-to-head matchups with one exception, South Bend, Inidana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who topped Trump 46% to 43%.
The biggest reason millionaires back Trump is the economy, with nearly one-half saying he is good for it, versus one-third who said Biden would be good for it.
More than 60% said Bernie Sanders and Warren would be bad for it.
Millionaires also are being cautious about the economy for next year. One-third say it will be about the same, and 40% say it will be weaker while 28% said it will be stronger.
About 38% said the S&P 500 will be up 5% to 10% next year, with 19% saying it will be even stronger and 20% saying it will be flat.
The survey polled 700 people with investable assets above $1 million, including 301 Republicans, 200 Democrats and 247 Independents.