Vast majorities of Americans are willing to pay more in income taxes if the money goes for government services or the national debt

In an exclusive Yahoo Finance - Harris Poll ,Amir Kanpurwala - The Harris Poll Managing Director of Brand Strategy - breaks down the polls findings on American sentiment leading up to the election.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: Well, we've got the latest results of the collaboration between the Harris Poll and Yahoo Finance showing that many Americans feel like things are going to get worse from here on things like public safety. 49% of those surveyed said it's going to get much or somewhat worse in the next three months. 47% expect the coronavirus to worsen. 53% expect the economy to get worse.

We're joined now by Amir Kanpurwala. He is the Harris Poll managing director of brand strategy. He's joining us from Los Angeles.

Amir, it's interesting on these issues because if you look at, for example, the economic data, we have seen an improving trajectory. But the sentiment here doesn't seem to be reflecting that.

AMIR KANPURWALA: Yeah. Thanks, Julie, for having us. I think what we're seeing is kind of a reflection of the volatility that's happening in the marketplace and with certain policy actions. I think there's concern from regular Americans that the packages that are being discussed in Congress may not pass. So I think that's manifesting where you'll see people very concerned about the US economy and about things like having a job, issues with the health-care system, public safety, so on and so forth. I think it's really just driven by the volatility that's happening in the marketplace.

- Can I turn to the issue of taxes, because this was also something that stuck out-- that 87% of Americans believe the tax system will experience no change? Also, the question, I guess, is that Americans believe everyone should pay their fair share in taxes. Can you help us understand how we define fair share among those who responded to the poll?

AMIR KANPURWALA: Yeah, that's a great question. So we asked folks in the poll whether or not they think they're getting as much in value from the government as they actually put in from paying taxes. And 40% of Americans think they pay more in taxes than they actually get back. And so, you know, I think what we're seeing here is people not really understanding the value they get from government spending and not really kind of processing the amount that they pay relative to their net benefits.

- Amir, are on the issue of taxes, there's an interesting stat in your study which talks about the thinking behind paying additional taxes. And you say a big majority of Americans say they're willing to pay more taxes if the money goes towards government services or the national debt. What's the thinking on that front and who should be paying for those additional taxes? Did you see a divide in terms of what some would call a wealth tax versus a broader middle-class tax raise or tax increase?

AMIR KANPURWALA: Yeah, great-- great question. So I think in general, and this has been true for the last several decades, taxing the richest Americans is a very popular policy. 2/3 of Americans say that we should do so. I think, you know, the question becomes whether or not I classify as a rich American. And there's a-- there is kind of conversation going on around Joe Biden's policy to tax those who make more than $400,000. So I think people are very much in favor of raising taxes so long as it doesn't apply to them.