THEY’RE GOING TO NEED A LOT MORE TEA BAGS…. As April 15 approaches, this is generally the time most Americans are inclined to complain about paying Uncle Sam. It’s supposed to be as American as apple pie — we all think we’re paying too much in taxes.
At least, that’s what we’ve been led to believe. The latest survey from Gallup shows these assumptions don’t seem to apply right now: “A new Gallup Poll finds 48% of Americans saying the amount of federal income taxes they pay is ‘about right,’ with 46% saying ‘too high’ — one of the most positive assessments Gallup has measured since 1956. Typically, a majority of Americans say their taxes are too high, and relatively few say their taxes are too low.”
The same poll found that 61% of Americans believe the income taxes they paid this year are “fair.”
This certainly isn’t the kind of public opinion landscape Republicans were hoping for. In order for conservative talking points on the economy to be effective, Americans have to believe the current tax rates are never “about right” and anything but “fair.” Broad satisfaction with taxes leaves Republicans with very little else to say.
Indeed, the semi-official slogan of the Tea Baggers’ events tomorrow is “T.E.A.: Taxed Enough Already.” It was hard enough to make this argument shortly after the president signed the largest middle-class tax cut in history; it’s even harder in light of poll results like these.
You can’t have a “red scare” when Americans aren’t terrified of socialism, and you can’t mount a tax revolt if Americans think current rates are reasonable.