TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Do Fewer Americans Support Taxing the Rich?

From a new Gallup Poll:

A slightly higher percentage of Americans today than in 2010 believe upper-income people pay too little in taxes, but the current 62% is still lower than the levels seen for much of the period from 1992 through 2007.


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Nowhere in the survey are people asked what a fair tax rate would be or what they believe the current rates are for upper incomes. If I recall correctly, earlier surveys have shown that people believe that about 25% is the highest that rates should go, and that the rich pay much less than that.

If the question were asked "Do you favor taxing millionaires at 25% on wage income?" I'm betting that less than 1/3 of responses would be "No, 25% is too low" versus "Yes" or "No, 25% is too high". Yet the current tax rate is 35% and Obama wants to increase it. This survey will be used to advocate that policy, a policy that people oppose.

These "surveys" carefully select which questions to ask and which not to ask in order to advance a preferred ideology. Don't be taken in.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Apr 25, 2012 5:07:46 PM