Fewer Than Half of Americans Think Their Taxes Are Too High
Americans are the happiest they've been about their tax rates in quite a while. Just in time for Tax Day, a new Gallup poll shows 47 percent of Americans think their tax rate is "about right." Asked separately about this year's income tax, nearly six in 10 Americans considered their payment "fair." The percentage of Americans who think their taxes are too high is 46 percent, the lowest rate in the past decade. Low-income Americans, probably because of tough economic times, are the most dissatisfied with their rates—significantly more than they were in 2009.
Unsurprisingly, Americans' satisfaction with their taxes spiked in the early aughts, right after President Bush passed the first round of federal tax cuts. But why do fewer people than last year think their taxes are too high? It may very well be the shift in a national conversation—from a Tea Party obsession with spending to a focus on the wealth gap ushered in by Occupy Wall Street. It could be that people are feeling the effects of spending cuts in their daily lives, from struggling schools to transportation fare hikes (although a good number of Americans have no idea where their taxes go). Either way, Republicans set on cutting taxes even more should pay close attention to these numbers: The poor, not the rich, are dissatisfied with their tax rates. The wealthy can admit they're doing just fine.