A new Gallup Poll released today found that Americans have voiced the second highest approval level with their rate of taxation, since the poll began in 1956. So the question is, why stage a protest when a majority of people don’t feel overtaxed?
In the poll, 48% of Americans described their rate of taxation as “about right,” while 46% of those polled said that their rates were too high. This is one of the most positive measurements that Gallup has ever found in the poll. Most of the time, respondent’s voice concern that their taxes are too high. The poll also found that 61% described the amount of taxes that they have to pay this year as fair. In contrast, from 1997-2001, the number of people who thought their taxes were fair ranged from 47%-51%.
The percentage of people saying that their tax rate is fair has not fallen below 60% since 2003. Americans could be relatively happy with their taxes right now because the nation is in a middle of a recession, and people are looking to the government for increased spending. It is also possible that people are happier because of the recently passed Obama stimulus package. I think the numbers would have been a lot worse if this poll would have been taken after the TARP was passed.
The results of the poll did break down along partisan and income lines. Only 40% of Democrats think that their taxes are too high compared with 53% of Republicans. Independents fall in the middle at 48%. Fifty five percent of Democrats, 46% of Independents, and 43% of Republican think that their tax rate is about right. Along income lines, only 39% of people making less than $30,000 think that their taxes are too high. Forty five percent of those earning $30,000-$74,999 think that their taxes are too high and 52% of those earning $75,000 + think that their taxes are too high.
I would not be expecting mass chaos in the streets on April 15, when most people aren’t all that upset about this issue. It really doesn’t make sense that Republicans are protesting a president who just signed the largest tax cut in history. The GOP is walking a fine line here. If the extremists come in full force to these rallies and start calling Obama a terrorist or calling for his assassination, Republicans could look even more like an angry white fringe than a conservative political party.