It’s not even close: Two-thirds of Americans want higher taxes on those with biggest incomes


Froma Harrop SPELLS IT OUT:

Poll after poll shows that the American people want higher taxes. That’s not the same as liking higher taxes. The people have simply concluded that higher taxes are preferable to the alternative — so vividly portrayed in the Republican plan to do away with government guarantees in Medicare.


 A Quinnipiac poll found that 69 percent, including nearly half of Republicans, want taxes raised on households making more than $250,000. A later Ipsos/Reuters polls shows three-fifths wanting to raise taxes to cut the deficit.


Many voters who bought the voodoo that tax cuts automatically pay for themselves, and more, are older now, and some are wiser. America must curb spending for sure, but clearly no tolerable path away from the deficit cliff can skirt the revenue side — especially when federal tax collections (relative to the gross domestic product) are the lowest they’ve been in 60 years.



  1. Terry C

    70/307 = 22.8%. That’s how many Americans pay federal income tax, therefore, 77.2% DON’T pay any income tax. So two-thirds (only 66.7%) of Americans want higher income earners to pay more tax? Again, Pat, you’re a laugh riot!!

  2. Terry: Glad you enjoyed it.

    By the way, your numbers seem to be a bit skewed. Check this:


  3. Ted Biondo

    Pat, at least half of those who want taxes raised don’t pay federal taxes, except Social Security and Medicare. Sure they want the rich to pay more, so they can have more.

    The rich pay most of the taxes anyway and the top 50% of the taxpayers pay 96.5% of the federal taxes and I can guarantee you that most of the top half paying taxes are not rich!

  4. Ted: The rich don’t even want to go back to the tax rates they paid just 12 years ago. You remember those days, don’t you? That was when the federal government had a budget surplus. That was before your buddy Bush unprecedentedly cut taxes in a time of war.

    Besides, the issue of how many Americans pay no income taxes has nothing to do with the point made in this post about prevailing public attitudes about taxing the rich. The fact remains that the Republican stance on repealing the Bush tax cuts for the rich is sharply at odds with the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans.

  5. Dan F

    Polls like this are a joke.

    A few years ago I remember they took a poll and asked people the following question: “Suppose Donald Trump wins the lottery and gets a $1 million prize. How much should he pay in taxes?” The average answer was something like $650,000.

    They asked another group of people, “Suppose YOU win the lottery and get a $1 million prize. How much should you pay in taxes?” The average answer was something like $200,000.

    I don’t recall the exact numbers and I tried to Google this poll but couldn’t find anything. Nevertheless, all these polls say the same thing: people find it easy to spend other people’s money.

    This is why our government is so horrible. Politicians discovered that they can spend other people’s money to generate political power, and it has grown into an addiction.

    If you want to get real, phrase the poll question as follows: “Would you hike taxes on the wealthy even if it caused widespread unemployment?” And I bet you’d have a lot of dim bulbs saying “yes.”

  6. Dan F,
    Let’s assume for a moment that what you say is true.

    “Politicians discovered that they can spend other people’s money to generate political power, and it has grown into an addiction.”

    Following that reasoning, politicians would be all for INCREASING taxes, because increasing taxes will raise more money for the “addicted” politicians to spend.

    The problem is that republicans have been addicted to spending without paying for it. It started with Reagan and continued big time with Bush.

  7. monkey

    Dan F: how does raising taxes on CEOs and hedge fund managers making tens of millions of dollars a year ’cause unemployment? Explain please.

  8. The heartfelt concern that some conservatives have regarding the oh-so-onerous tax burdens faced by their wealthy brethren brings to mind billionaire Warren Buffett’s challenge to his fellow fat cats.

    Buffett has said that he’ll pay $1 million to any member of the Forbes 400 who can disprove his claim that their average federal tax rate (income and payroll) is less than the average rate of their secretaries and receptionists.

    Of course, he’s had no takers.

    There once was a time in this country when most people agreed that the wealthy should pay a bigger percentage of their incomes in taxes than the middle class paid. But in recent years, we’ve seen a great compression of tax burdens, while at the same time a wide gap in income has arisen. In recent years, nearly half of all income — including both wages and salaries and non-labor income — has gone to 10 percent of families. The top 1 percent of families now receive nearly 25 percent of income, up from less than 10 percent in the 1970s.

    And while more and more income has become concentrated at the top of the scale, tax rates on the highest earners have been falling. Last year, the Bush tax cuts actually gave millionaires more in tax breaks than 90 percent of Americans earned in income. Consequently, the difference between the average tax rates on high-income groups and those on middle-class households was narrower than at any other time in modern history.

    If the Bush tax cuts were repealed and tax rates for the highest earners were returned to the level they were at in the 1990s, they would still be far below their historical level.

  9. Terry C

    “By the way, your numbers seem to be a bit skewed”. Check this:

    No, Pat, they are pretty spot on. The top 1% pays 38.02%, the top 10% pays 69.94%, and the top 50% pays 97.30%. The bottom 50% pays 2.7%.

    “Besides, the issue of how many Americans pay no income taxes has nothing to do with the point made in this post about prevailing public attitudes about taxing the rich”. That is an absolutely incredible statement, Pat. I guess all the freeloaders thought long and hard about all the benefits they get from government, examined the facts and data that show we are more than broke and incredibly in debt, and came to the logical conclusion that, of course, THEY weren’t about to start supporting themselves, so it’s only natural that the smartest, best educated, hardest working, and most ambitious among us should have their taxes raised. Makes perfect sense now.

  10. No, Terry. It’s “only natural” (to borrow your phrase) in a time of fiscal crisis to expect that the wealthiest Americans pay the same percentage of their income in taxes that they paid the last time the federal government ran a budget surplus. Those tax rates on the wealthy were still well below the historical average.

    It’s only natural in times like these that the widening gap between the compative tax burdens on the rich and the middle class be narrowed a bit.

    It’s only natural that General Electric, which reaped $14.2 billion in profits last year, pay at least something in U.S. taxes.

    One other thing, Terry: When you refer to “freeloaders,” are you including the likes of G.E.?

  11. Terry C

    Absolutely, GE is a freeloader. I do believe Obama’s “git er done” on the economy Czar is the CEO of GE, Immelt. And since we live in a Republic and not a democracy, we don’t have the tyranny of 51% of the freeloaders ordering the minority 49% to work harder and pay more taxes.

    And. Pat, under whose administrations were the tax codes written so companies like GE could get away with paying no US income tax? I do believe congress and/or the white house has been controlled by democrats for the vast majority of the years 1933-2011. And if I were a stockholder in GE I would certainly want them to stiff the US government on all the taxes that they LEGALLY could, in order to maximize my stock value. Plenty of blame to go around to all in Washington, don’t blame the Republicans on this one. If you wanted fairer tax laws, you should have written your democrat controlled members of the house, senate, and the president when they had majorities and a chance to do something meaningful.

  12. Wlson

    Terry , like passing budget? We are approching 2 years without a budget being passed.

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