Monday, April 26, 2010
David Cay Johnston has published What Polls Tell Us About the Public's View of Taxes, 127 Tax Notes 473 (Apr. 26, 2010):
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Readers, here is some terrific news for sound tax policy -- and two related problems. But first, to give context to both the good news and the problems, a little quiz. Based on the latest national polls, how do Sarah Palin, the tea party movement, and the IRS rate with the American people? ...
Last place in favorable impressions goes to the former governor of Alaska. Fewer than one in four Americans view her favorably. Next up, with a 36% favorability rating, is the tea party movement. Leading the pack by a large margin is the IRS, with an approval rating of 49%.
Wow! Who would have thought that the IRS would have a favorability rating a third higher than the tea party movement's? Or that the IRS would be twice as popular as Palin?
Who would have thought the IRS has a favorability rating just 1 (statistically insignificant) percentage point below President Obama's? The IRS's favorability rating stands much higher than that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (29%), and of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. (16%), and four times that of House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio (12%). ...
The poll results are cause to celebrate, not just at IRS offices, but everywhere that people want sound tax policies. Those favorability ratings indicate that sound tax policies -- transparent, simple, equitable ways to raise revenue that grease the wheels of the economy -- can be attained. The public evidently gets that the IRS is only the tax police, enforcing the law Congress makes. Years of carefully crafted demagoguery using slogans polished by Republican pollster Frank Luntz are losing their hold on public opinion as hard facts disprove or discredit them.