StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between

Americans Support Higher Taxes. Really.

29 Jun 2011
Posted by Bruce Bartlett
Contrary to Republican dogma, polls show that the American people strongly support higher taxes to reduce the deficit and improve income inequality. Following are 19 different polls since the first of the year that say so.
A June 9 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 61 percent of people believe higher taxes will be necessary to reduce the deficit.
A June 7 Pew poll found strong support for tax increases to reduce the deficit; 67 percent of people favor raising the wage cap for Social Security taxes, 66 percent raising income tax rates on those making more than $250,000, and 62 percent favor limiting tax deductions for large corporations. A plurality of people would also limit the mortgage interest deduction.
A May 26 Lake Research poll of Colorado voters found that they support higher taxes on the rich to shore-up Social Security’s finances by a 44 percent to 25 percent margin.
A May 13 Bloomberg poll found that only one third of people believe it is possible to substantially reduce the budget deficit without higher taxes; two thirds do not.
A May 12 Ipsos/Reuters poll found that three-fifths of people would support higher taxes to reduce the deficit.
A May 4 Quinnipiac poll found that people favor raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 to reduce the deficit by a 69 percent to 28 percent margin.
An April 29 Gallup poll found that only 20 percent of people believe the budget deficit should be reduced only by cutting spending; 76 percent say that higher taxes must play a role.
An April 25 USC/Los Angeles Times poll of Californians found that by about a 2-to-1 margin voters favor raising taxes to deal with the state’s budget problems over cutting spending alone.
An April 22 New York Times/CBS News poll found that 72 percent of people favor raising taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit. It also found that 66 percent of people believe tax increases will be necessary to reduce the deficit versus 19 percent who believe spending cuts alone are sufficient.
An April 20 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that by a 2-to-1 margin people favor a combination of higher taxes and spending cuts over spending cuts alone to reduce the deficit. It also found that 72 percent of people favor raising taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit and it is far and away the most popular deficit reduction measure.
An April 20 Public Religion Research Institute poll found that by a 2-to-1 margin, people believe that the wealthy should pay more taxes than the poor or middle class. Also, 62 percent of people believe that growing inequality of wealth is a serious problem.
An April 18 McClatchy-Marist poll found that voters support higher taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit by a 2-to-1 margin, including 45 percent of self-identified Tea Party members.
An April 18 Gallup poll found that 67 percent of people do not believe that corporations pay their fair share of taxes, and 59 percent believe that the rich do not pay their fair share.
On April 1, Tulchin Research released a poll showing that voters in California overwhelmingly support higher taxes on the rich to deal with the state’s budgetary problems.
A March 15 ABC News/Washington Post poll found that only 31 percent of voters support the Republican policy of only cutting spending to reduce the deficit; 64 percent believe higher taxes will also be necessary.
A March 2 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 81 percent of people would support a surtax on millionaires to help reduce the budget deficit, and 68 percent would support eliminating the Bush tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000.
A February 15 CBS News poll found that only 49 percent of people believe that reducing the deficit will require cuts in programs that benefit them; 41 percent do not. Also, only 37 percent of people believe that reducing the deficit will require higher taxes on them; 59 percent do not.
A January 20 CBS News/New York Times poll found that close to two-thirds of people would rather raise taxes than cut benefits for Social Security or Medicare in order to stabilize their finances. The poll also found that if taxes must be raised, 33 percent would favor a national sales tax, 32 percent would support restricting the mortgage interest deduction, 12 percent would raise the gasoline taxes, and 10 percent would tax health care benefits.
On January 3, a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll found that 61 percent of people would rather raise taxes on the rich to balance the budget than cut defense, Social Security or Medicare.

The polls are correct... but your interpretation of them is not.

So, what the polls say is this:
a) "We americans realize that we wil have to raise taxes to cover our health and retirement programs".
b) "We americans are happy to raise taxes as long as someone else pays for them"

What these polls do not say:
a) "We don't want to pay taxes for more federal employees under any circumstances"
b) "We don't trust our politicians"
c) "We are simply stuck with these programs and their costs now" (Which was the intent of their proponents)
d) "We need to fix (privatize) education and will hold these programs hostage in order to force a change in education."
e) "We need to contract the geographic breadth of our military because we aren't enough of the global economy any longer to subsidize everyone else."
f) "We aren't really happy that we've undermined the cultural homogeneity sufficiently that whites are beginning to act a s a minority and the country is becoming ungovernable which is why people are no longer charitable."
g) "We have no idea how this future is going to play out and we're nervous and confused and demonstrating it by our actions in the economy."

The current heated political rancor isn't going to be solved. I don't know why your generation of public intellectuals doesn't understand that the outcome of social programs and diversity has been permanent unalterable discord. Or that capital and people are both mobile and seek their preferences.

This discord is permanent because:
1) The south has recovered and they are not artificially causing a homogenization of the two party system - which the data shows.
2) Whites are an emerging minority, and acting like one - which the data shows.
3) The usa has a lower portion of the world economy, and is over extended, undermining the petro-dollar that has supported the american consumer consumption while the rest of the world has emerged from it's century if isolation and retrenchment into the fantasy of socialism - which the data shows.
4) Regional economic and cultural differences are solidifying into movements - which the data shows.
5) The artificial increase in the postwar standard of living of the working classes has been reversed - which the data shows.
6) We are far and removed from producing an internationally competitive work force - which the data shows.
7) What is emerging is the south american model of urbanization: an elite (white) urban core surrounded by a ring of permanent poverty, and an expensive and sectarian suburbia, with an antagonistic rural opposition.

It is just obvious that any poll that is extremely narrow, will produce the results that they do. It's also obvious that interpretations of those polls without the broader context, are simply, and universally, deceptive.

There is no collective 'America' any longer. It is a factionalized and permanently factionalize electorate.

We reap what we sow.

Question to concepts


Thanks for the interesting posting. Why do you think the increase in the postwar standard of living of the working classes was artificial? It seems that in other developed countries (Scandinavia? Germany?), workers can maintain their high standard of living - why not in the US?

Could you explain more what you mean with
- homogenization of the two party system
- acting as minority
- regional economic and cultural differences solidifying into movements
I'm not familiar with these concepts. (Sorry, I'm just a rocket scientist, not a sociologist ;-)

"emerging is the south american model of urbanization: an elite (white) urban core surrounded by a ring of permanent poverty, and an expensive and sectarian suburbia, with an antagonistic rural opposition."

A decline of the US to third world country is one of the things I fear most. I didn't know, however, that South America had expensive and sectarian suburbs - do they really have many of them?



Well, it's obvious to most

Well, it's obvious to most Americans, including many of us in the higher tax brackets, that we should raise taxes on the rich. Our period of greatest economic growth (50s and 60s) coincided with a decrease of inequality and a steeply progressive income tax regime. Let's bring that back!

Post hoc ergo propter hoc

Post hoc ergo propter hoc

Send in your money. No one is stopping you.

Great! Send the government 90% of your income with a letter stating that it is your intent to donate it. No one is stopping you.

You're a Fool

I hear this stupid comment from people like you all the time. You cannot "donate" your money to the government and no one on the so-called left is seeking onerous tax increases. Simply repealing the Bush tax cuts (increasing the top rate by a whopping 4.6%) along with reasonable spending cuts will close the deficit quite nicely. By the way, do you even have a job? You spend way too much time commenting on this website.

do you even have a job

Your comments personify the nasty tone of the republican party. Folks who are umemployed - and collecting umemployment - mus have been gainfully employed for a number of years in order to collect unemployment. Your inference that unemployment can be equated to "laziness" is shameless. In fact, unemployment can be strongly correlated to the 2008 economic collapse for which you can thank your hero "W".

The US income tax regime is

The US income tax regime is far more steeply "progressive" today than it was in the '50's. Today, virtually no one in the lower 50% of incomes pays any federal income tax. We have by far the most "progressive" income tax regime in the developed world, and the rich pay a larger share of government revenues in the US than they do in such egalitarian paradises as Sweden and France.

US Tax Regime

Throw in payroll taxes!!

Everyone with a job pays the SS and Medicare payroll taxes.

How much of the US G cash receipts come from those? 60% or 65%?

And that often amounts to a serious part if not more than their net worth, paid to a trust fund plundered for war and tax breaks for folks with lots of net worth.

Which is less important to congress than their war profiteering donors, who don't pay much in taxes.

Increase minimum wage enough

Increase minimum wage enough so everyone pays some income tax. I'd be happy to make enough money to pay income tax because I am proud to be an American. If you want to play Little League ball, you pay. If you want to be in the Kiwanis, you pay. If you go to a church, you pay. Why shouldn't you be proud to pay to be a part of the greatest nation on earth, the beacon of democracy and freedom? Even at our current sad plateau (e.g., surveillance, national security state run by plutocrats)?

Tell us why you hate America so much that you don't want to chip in but would prefer to be a tapeworm in its guts, paying nothing for the body that feeds you and provides an environment in which you thrive. Why shouldn't this country excrete you?

Misstatement of facts

We do not have the most "progressive" income tax regime. That is just an idea you pulled out of thin air.

Working class people and the poor pay tons of taxes which are regressive. Payroll taxes, excise taxes, sales taxes, user fees for public services, state taxes, etc., are part of the tax system.

Here are 9 things the Rich Don't Want you to know about paying taxes:

Why half dont pay taxes

"the rich pay a larger share of government revenues in the US than they do in such egalitarian paradises as Sweden and France."
Perhaps so, but if so, this is far outweighed by the disparity in worker/CEO pay.

Norway has one of the lowest income disparities globally; it has cradle-2-grave welfare, free university education and health, a massive sovereign wealth fund, and -get this - 3% unemployment. It is, in fact, an example of a LIBERAL economy put completely into practice.

The problem in America is that you have a tiny fraction at the top controlling most of the nations wealth; simply, people cannot afford any longer to consume corporate goods. The idea introduced by Ford that people who make the company's products should be able to afford them no longer applies. Lose the customer, and you lose the generation, the middle class, and end up with a nation where half cannot afford to pay any taxes.

Progressiveness is not

Progressiveness is not measured by % share of revenue to the government.

It's measured by how the tax rate changes based on the individual's income.

Progressiveness is based on ability to pay and affordability to the payer, not on absolute dollars contributed.

If you want a tax system that demands everyone pays the same number of dollars, instead of rate, then say that - but don't fool yourself into thinking it's progressive.

You betcha it's those darn guvmint employees

I don't wanna pay taxes because I think they go to illegal immigrants and poor minorities and certainly they go to people other than me, even if I collect Medicare and Social Security and my state takes in loads more money than it sends to Washington. It means "I want mine" and "I got mine." That's what the Tea Party is really about, a revival of the "Don't Tread on Me" flag means other people got more than me, other people want what I have, keep your hands off me. It's not a return to American values; it negates them. It negates the idea that this is a country. We're only in this together in war so let's fund the military and praise say, "Thank you for your service" to every soldier and forget about the rest of it.

Raising taxes

The comment by Yet Another Budget Wonk did not bring new information to the discussion of raising taxes. The comment brought heat but not light.

I want to contribute a little information, which I got from a recent email from Speaker Boehner. He says, "But as I’ve said: a tax hike cannot pass the House. It’s off the table. The American people know taxes aren’t the problem – Washington’s spending binge is the problem. And we’re standing with the American people."

I was amazed and wanted to find out the truth, so I googled "raising taxes vs. spending cuts" and found Bruce Bartlett's blog. I found it really interesting that respected pollsters disagreed with Speaker Boehner. It would appear that House Republicans are standing against, and not with, the American people. I'm happy about that because I'm an American person and I didn't agree at all with what Speaker Boehner was saying. I'm glad I'm not alone.

So send in Your paychecks. I

So send in Your paychecks. I want to keep Mine. I pay enough already. For services and programs I don't use. And if You believe polling data; You are ignorant. There are numerous studies to prove polls are slanted for whoever pays for them.

Very Compelling

Yes, there are numerous studies paid for by somebody that say that studies paid for by somebody are slanted. Very cogent point.

You say you don't "use" these programs as though a prosperous nation with full employment doesn't benefit you. That's short-sighted, to say the least.

Let's turn the argument around. If you are sick of paying for services you don't use, feel free to depart to a country where no such services exist, such as Somalia. Your tax rate will be miniscule and you can keep anything you manage to earn.

Sorry my friend, but taxes are the price we pay for civilization, and I for one am happy to do my share because I recognize just how much I benefit from a nation that is solvent, stable, and capable of funding the many aspects of a complex society that are possible in the modern world.

Enjoy your tax-free haven!

Response to Very Compelling

Mr. Ellis I strongly believe that most of the 2/3 of the people polled in all these surveys share your reasoning as I also do. I just like to add a couple of things to shore up a little bit more weight to your very well put and compelling argument.

First, I was born and raised in a Caribbean island and I have been living in Miami Florida as a US citizen since June 26, 1980. During 31 years I have met thousands of Latinos from all countries in Latin América and over a hundred of them are my friends. I have learned from them that their countries suffer various degrees of extensive and deep poverty and social maladies while their rich people pay much less taxes than rich Americans in USA.

Even though these countries have very low tax rates, their unemployment rates are higher than in US and their salaries and work conditions are also way below of those that we enjoy in US. Countries such as the Dominican Republic have no government run social security system. Senator John McCain constantly complains on TV that US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world as if this was a very bad thing for our economy.

Consequently, due to the strong consensus of testimonies from my Latin amigos, the well misguided statement mentioned above by John McCain and many other reasons of which I don't time to address in this response, I have concluded a long time ago that US is the best and largest economy in the world precisely because it has the strongest and fairest tax system.

Second, Mr. Bruce Bartlett is a Republican who worked as the chief financial adviser to President Ronald Reagan. In March 2006, Mr. Bartlett did a research about the impact of rising and cutting taxes on the economy during the Clinton and Bush administrations and wrote his findings in a remarkable and myth killing article.

The lessons of such article become my second point to substantiate your reasoning and another argument that leads me to believe that US is the best economy because it has the best tax code in the world. Here is the link to the article and enjoy it:


Personally the most important thing to me is closing the deficit ( actually it's eliminating it ) and like I just mentioned on one of Stan's threads I'm fine with raising taxes ( but more importantly to cut spending ) but with all due respect Bruce in regard to polls over the years from my experience results have a lot to do with how questions are phrased.

I'm not saying I disagree with you just or the results of it ( because I agree with the results ) just I find polls to be sometimes a little skewed % wise toward the way a question is asked

Follow the leaders

It is obvious that in today's world everyone looks after him/herself first, second and third. Why is that so? Well, the leaders in business and especially the financial industry demonstrate it; hardly past their bail outs, they already reap in the next round of oversized benefits to the detriment of us all and their deep pockets allow them to continue to influence the political class in their favour. The ordinary citizen has been raped in form of too low interest rates and by transferring the losses of the financial industry to the common tax payer. People do realize this and are outraged. They want those who benefited from the present system over the past 10 or so years to now return those unfairly accumulated assets. This will only take place by changing the political climate and as elections come only every 2 years, it may take another 2 to 4 years until a real change will be achieved. This situation does not concern the USA alone but the whole western world. Step by step new leaders will be elected on a platform that will reject the present way things are handled.

Tax Increases

If you look at the polling, most people favoring increases are expecting that the increased taxes will hit someone else, Corporations, Rich Taxpayers or those who unfairly are benefitting from deductions. An interesting question to ask would be "would you favor a 5% tax surcharge on everybody?" Personally, I would, provided a LOT of spending was reduced (including Defense), but I am not sure everybody would.

I could not get past the

I could not get past the first POLL you cite....and use that for your belief people SUPPORT tax hikes.

"61 percent of people believe higher taxes will be necessary to reduce the deficit."

People believe higher taxes will be necessary, THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY SUPPORT IT. JUST BECAUSE YOUR VIEW IS ONE WAY, DON'T ASSUME SUPPORT FOR SOMETHING. People are not stupid. They know the Government cannot and will not act like grown ups. They know that tax hikes are coming and probably are necessary. Even I will admit to that. THAT IN NO MEANS SAYS I SUPPORT TAX HIKES.....

Don't be an idiot. We already have too many bloggers out there who are.

What a shock....

Americans favor raising other people's taxes just like they favor cutting other people's benefits.

raising taxes

There are so many comments here that I need to respond to.
First, I am now retired and get social security and medicare. But at no time in my work life did I support cutting those programs. At no time in my work life did I wish to reduce my taxes if it meant cutting those programs. Our elderly people are among the most vulnerable people in the nation. Forget those commercials showing older people playing in the surf or climbing mountains. Those are extremely rare. Most of us are beginning to experience health problems we have never had before. Most of us could not find a job if we had to because of age discrimination, even if we were healthy and energetic. Many elderly people have only social security to live on. I know a lot of RWNJs will say that's their own fault. The fact is that salaries of average Americans have been stagnant for a very long time, while the upper echelon have seen their incomes rise dramatically. When you are raising a family on an annual salary of $40,000, there is nothing left to save. So it is not their fault they have very little, if any savings.

I would NOT support a 5% surcharge on everyone. That is because there are millions of people already who barely have enough to buy food and medicine and pay for housing costs. Meanwhile, the richest 400 people in the country each have an annual income of $345 million. Do any of you realize that those people could each pay an additional million a year in income tax (and I'm not proposing that) and it wouldn't even alter their standard of living? Not only that, but it wouldn't even mean their great-grandchildren would not be rich enough to never have to work a day in their lives. Why would you be against a tax increase on those people without also having an increase on families making less than $60,000 a year?

The right-wingers have no common sense and no compassion and are not in touch with reality.

A few items

1) Social Security and Medicare are simply becoming unaffordable in their present condition. This is a pure and simple fact. Already Social Security is now a net drain on the budget instead of something that was injecting surplus cash for other items. This means that we have to borrow money or not use it for other budget priorities in order to send out all the SS checks. (And don't bother with the whole "trust fund" spiel. They're a bunch of worthless IOU's that have no actual assets behind them.)

2) If you took ALL of the money that the richest 400 people in the country have: $138,000,000,000 (400 x 345,000,000) by your figuring this would not cover the projected deficits of $1,000,000,000,000. An extra 400,000,000 by your $1,000,000 extra a year would be an even bigger joke that would only have the effect of these people looking for ways to avoid paying it.

3) 19% of GDP. Historically that is the amount of money that comes into the federal government despite the actual tax rates that we have. If we don't get our spending down to that amount then it doesn't matter how high our tax rates our.

4) This has nothing to do with compassion and everything to do with simple arithmetic. There's simply not enough money to go around.


Instead of raising taxes, perhaps the 51% of Americans who pay NO tax, should start to pay tax and have some skin in the game!




All Americans who are not living in the woods like Ted Kazinsky pay state and local sales taxes. But even if you mean federal taxes, don't forget that every maid and fry cook pays about 7.5% on their first dollar earned via FICA tax. (And their employers pay another ~7.5% which could arguably go to the worker too.) The bottom three-quarters of the American population pays more for Social Security and Medicare than they do to the rest of the federal government.


Doc.....everyone pays taxes. Whether it be in the form of sales tax, gasoline tax, property tax (Included in rent payments), excise tax, sin tax (alcohol, cigarettes, etc.) People might not pay income tax, like many of those with well-heeled financial advisors/tax specialists who are included in your 51%, but they do pay taxes....the poorer more disproportionately than the wealthy.

Read and learn.....turn off FOX.

Go ahead already!

Look, just go ahead and let the "raise taxes on every one who is rich, i.e., who makes more than 250K a year" and get it over with.

Then sit back and see if: 1) it adds more revenue to the government coffers or 2) if it actually lowers revenue due to folks doing anything and everything they can do legally to avoid the tax.

Then shut up and learn one way or another.

flat tax

Everybody and all corporations that earns more than 45K should pay a flat tax of 17%. NO deductions. No mortgage deduction, no interest deductions, No charity deductions, NO deductions. Flat tax should be paid on interest earned, dividends and capital gains as well as wages. I would like to see this but do not beleive I will because of all the lobbyists in Washington.

Thank you Bruce Bartlett.

Lets see a poll that asks

Lets see a poll that asks whether we should stop spending or raise taxes. You will find out what most Americans really want.

I am not rich at all. I don't make jack but I also don't feel that rich people's money belongs to me like most liberals do. I don't hate them because they are more successful like liberals do. I want to see more rich people. I wish there were a lot more millionaires and billionaires unlike liberals.

Yes, liberals love higher taxes. Their goal is to bring everyone down instead of striving to raise themselves up. Spread the misery around.

The poll question should be asked. "Do you want your taxes raised?" You will definitely get a different response. When asked about taxes people assume it is not them who will be paying the increase.

Raise My Taxes

Do it. Right now. I am more than willing to pay my fair share.

I mean, the deal is I chip in a certain percentage of my income, and in exchange I get the best damn country on the planet. That's a solid investment! I don't understand this petty treason of being unwilling to contribute to the United States. Greed, it seems, is stronger than patriotism.

why yes I do

Sure, my husband and I make about $175,000 a year. We paid almost nothing to the State of Arizona because of various deductions. We didn't pay that much in federal taxes either (and we didn't cheat). So sure, I have enough to live on, you can raise my taxes a little to reduce the deficit. If you do that to a bunch of people like me, and to the many who make more than me, it could really add up!

raising taxes

I am sure that the ones that DONT pay taxes are all for it, Those of us that DO pay taxes NOPE.

Drugs to a drug addict

Regardless of what Americas say they want, giving money to the government is like giving drugs to a drug addict. Can you please show me the account balance statement with our social security contributions? (Not the IOU statement). I rest my case. Every dollar that will be raised by some type of tax increase will find a way to be spent. It WILL NOT go to debt reduction. The only way to fix this chronic problem is to STOP spending any other solution is a pipe dream.

Wrong approach

1. There is no tax plan that can fill a 1.5 trillion dollar annual budget deficit much less put a dent in the 14 trillion in past debt. It would require an additional 10% of GDP to do that. Federal government revenues hover around the 18-20% range historically regardless of tax rates. There is simply no way politically or economically to increase that to 30%. To even try to that would be suicide as investors would leave this country in droves.

2. Increased tax revenues do not equal lower deficits. Time and again new revenues have been used for MORE spending than ever before. Anyone who believes that new money will be used solely to pay off the debt is a fool. GW Bush fell for that promise in 1990 and Reagan fell for it in 1982. Both times spending taxes went up but spending cuts did not materialize.

3. The BEST WAY to increase federal tax revenues is economic growth. It just so happens that is best for everybody, including job seekers. We need to quit trying to figure out ways to rob the private sector of capital and focus on pro-growth policies. Opening up domestic energy production, get the EPA off the backs of business, tell the NLRB to stand down and repeal SOX and many other onerous regulations.


Congress consistently approved less spending that Reagan requested in his budget proposals. So the notion that Reagan was suckered into agreeing to the 1982 tax increases based on the idea that spending would be cut is ridiculous. Spending *was* cut below the level Reagan wanted.

George W. Bush made no secret of his belief in Reaganomics (although during the 2000 election he did pretend he wouldn't return us to deficit spending, but I don't think even his supporters believed that). With the help of a Republican Congress, he was able to grow federal spending at a faster rate than Reagan.

If you want an example of a tax increase being used to reduce the deficit, look to the Clinton years. Republicans, demonstrating that they were clueless about economics, predicted that the tax increase would be an economic disaster. But the economy did just fine, and the deficit was reduced and eventually eliminated.

Of course the deficits returned the moment Republicans took over, but the moral isn't that tax increases can't be used to reduce the deficit. It's that controlling the deficit over the long term isn't possible as long as the current incarnation of the Republican party remains politically viable.

Raising taxes

I don't know what planet you came from but get this. The feds will just waste any additional taxes. They need to stop spending. It is that simple stupid. The feds and more taxes is like a junkie and more dope and just about the same thing.

Raising taxes

Do not call people "stupid" lest you be called far worse (but likely accurate) names

You fail at reading

You fail at reading comprehension. Look up the difference between "support" and "willing to accept as inevitable under the very specific circumstances asked by the pollster yet omitted from this oblivious blog post". Every single one of these polls shows that a plurality (note even majority) of people only MIGHT favor tax hikes in the abstract, provided THEY THEMSELVES ARE NOT AFFECTED. I support a 1000% tax for you. Just you, skippy. Now you can add me to you list of "people that support higher taxes". How do you like them apples?

Another question

Hi, again Bruce, this post brings more questions. I've been reading that book "The Great Treasury Raid," since you mentioned it in that Forbes article. In that article you mentioned how Kennedy sent a letter to congress telling them to close certain loopholes alongside his big tax cut. Of course, this was ignored. By 1979 the effective tax rate for the top 1% was 37% (see source here, and went down to about 25% in 1981. When the 1981 tax cut was put together, were Kennedy's loophole requests known about and factored into the bill (were some outlets closed), or were the same flaws that the '64 bill had in it in the '81 bill too? If they were in there, was there a reason for doing so, and why would it have helped?

Stop spending

The federal government is now spending 25% of GDP. It is not sustainable. The dems say nothing can be cut. Hogwash! How about Cowboy poetry? There are tons of programs and frivolous 'studies' that should be cut before they increase taxes. Cut first! Same as the border, stop illegal immigration before discussing any amnesty. Because no one trusts the federal government to do what they 'promise!'

If the Feds went back to the spending levels of Clinton, would there even be a deficit??? No.

The rich pay the majority of income taxes, so...

As the rich pay most of the income taxes paid and just under half of all Americans pay no federal income tax, I propose this we take every cent of wealth from every rich person as tax revenue all at once.

We kill two birds with one stone: We get a huge amount of money in tax revenue; and there will be no more of those evil, greedy rich people so we can quit being jealous of them and quit using them to create class warfare among airhead-Americans.

(For this discussion, a "rich people" is everyone having a net worth of $3M or more. That makes it easy: that's everyone on the Forbes 400. They have a total net worth of about $1.25T (trillion) dollars. (We wouldn't actually get anywhere near that much cash as their wealth is predominately in non-liquid form, but let's just pretend we can)...

President Obama's budget had a $1.6T so we can pay about 78% of one year's budget deficit, leaving a paltry $350B that we have to find in loose change somewhere or borrow from China, et al.

Done. Problem solved. Scads of tax revenue money. No more evil, greedy rich people.

Well, ok there will be a few minor side effects. Now that the government has taken all those rich people's assets, not only are they not rich anymore but their businesses are gone and many vendors and customers of those businesses are gone as are other businesses supported by the productivity of their wealth as well. So, millions upon millions of formerly non-rich now rapidly becoming poor people lose their jobs immediately, with many millions more to follow over the next few months.

Ok, now that that's out of the way, we need to start working on next year's budget with its increased spending (you don't seriously think Congress/President would not increase spending once they got their hands on a 'free' $1.25T windfall do you?). So now we just need to figure out how to pay off a much larger deficit given the reality of America's 'new' rich-person-free economy...

It's like history has shown: Countries that have no rich people are known as poor countries.

Stealing from Other Americans

'...polls show that the American people strongly support higher taxes to...improve income inequality."

Americans support paying income taxes; in fact, about one-half of all Americans do - the other half, not so much. The top 1% of income earners like taxes to the point of almost paying 40% of all federal income taxes collected each year. So, I think Mr. Barlett means to say that SOME Americans like paying taxes and really don't have a problem paying more.

Perhaps, Mr. Barlett should conduct a poll of Americans who actually pay federal income taxes and not just those who want something for nothing.

More importantly, how does one "improve income inequality"? I would say one who wants to improve his lot has to do that himself rather than indignantly expect his neighbor to pick up the tab for his bad luck, lack of motivation, or unwillingness to work - it's just another form of legalized and government sponsored theft. Imagine knocking on your neighbor's door each week and demanding part of his paycheck! When the government sanctions it, it's easy to demand's a faceless and cowardly act to make a claim to other people's money!

These are all just more

These are all just more arguments to force the Nozickian to pay for others' block parties.The polls are yet more evidence that Americans lack principle and are undeserving of the bounty they were given. Is anyone really surprised that the boomers and me generation are pissing it away? Liberals and tea partiers alike, btw. Decadence!

Ceterum Censeo Hippies Delenda Est


Add my unscientific poll to the list. In my poll, 98% of people say they pay "too much" in taxes, 1% say "about right", and 1% (nearly all of these come from Hollywood) say "not enough". And, 99% of people say taxpayers other than themselves should pay more to balance the budget.

This isn't news. The fact is that you could tax 100% of the income of every millionaire and billionaire in the United States and it wouldn't eliminate our budget deficit. You cannot balance the budget by raising taxes. Our government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

Why can't liberals seem to understand basic math?

There's just so much fail

There's just so much fail here, it's hard to know where to start fisking. NONE of the polls cited have cross-tabs listing people's motivations for higher taxes. Of the QUESTIONS that DO mention it, they only provide the context of deficit reduction. So allegedly supporting higher taxes to "improve income inequality" is something YOU MADE UP.

June 9th poll REALLY shows that JUST 4% favor increasing taxes. It REALLY shows that 57% would ALLOW tax increases IF and only IF it was a condition set by Democrats and their pathological love of taxes on cutting spending. This is plainly evidenced in the cross-tabs which show that 91% of that 57% demand spending cuts greater than or equal to the tax increases. That's right, they "favor" or "support" spending cuts. .57x.91=.52, plus 37% who would allow NO tax increases = 89% who SUPPORT SPENDING CUTS OVER TAX INCREASES.

June 7th Pew shows 67% favor upping the SS cap... of $106800! Well DUH! 67% DON'T MAKE $106800. Closer to 95% DON'T make $106800. What this poll REALLY shows is that 0% who would be affected by the tax support it, and even 28% of respondents who wouldn't be affected OPPOSE it anyway on principle! This agrees completely with the other 2 findings from the poll: The number who would support a tax they would actually pay is statistically insignificant (0%), while the number of those who turn down "free money from other people" is HUGE (about 50% of the number who favor robbing their neighbor), even when a deficit created by a pathological refusal to stop spending forces them to make that non-choice. What part of this makes you think they "favor" taxes???

Some of these polls are insulting... asking if people would accept tax hikes if they can't cut spending. This choice is akin to "Your house is burning down, would you be willing to walk outside if we won't let you put the fire out?"

I can do this with every single poll you've cited. Why couldn't you?

You missed a bit...

Americans support higher taxes -- on other people, not on themselves, but for the "rich" so they can keep getting benefits -- Really.

You missed more than half of that headline... unless you believe that Americans support higher taxes on themselves. You know you can pay higher taxes without any adjustment to the tax rate... since most people "support" higher taxes, what percentage willingly pay higher taxes than they're billed?

I'm going to be that number isn't "most" or "many" possibly "several" and more likely "a small few at best".

From the actions of people and not their answers to polls; a small number of people at best support higher taxes.

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