No more class war? A couple of profs from the upper Midwest think so, and I hope they are right. (See Page and Jacobs, Class War?, about taxes and personal economics.) Here’s what they found in their studies and polls.
Americans aren’t anti-tax, in spite of what Grover Norquist and like-minded people think. You’d never know that from all the racket in Washington and the media. There are political groups and individuals who zealously battle taxes. All taxes, full time. This goal in our world is so stupid it’s hard to imagine anyone at all embracing it. Most Americans aren’t so foolish. We know that good things come from the taxes we pay. We support increased taxes when needed for our future, for example for education and early childhood support.
Americans aren’t anti-tax,
in spite of what Grover Norquist thinks.
The following beliefs about taxes are wrong: The poor, in particular, think they pay a greater percentage of income tax than the rich. They also believe that sales taxes affect the rich more severely than themselves. They have it exactly backwards. All kinds of Americans believe that the US has high taxes, but in fact we have the lowest taxes of the 25 most highly developed countries in the world, half the tax rate of the most desirable countries. Most think that corporations pay their fair share of taxes, but in fact, none of the 30 biggest corporations in the US paid any taxes at all last year, and the corporate share of taxes paid has been falling for decades.
The public supports progressive taxes. We even support tax increases for pragmatic egalitarian purposes, “government programs that create opportunity or provide security for individuals against threats beyond their control” (Page and Jacobs). This consensus cuts across parties, classes, races, income, etc. A very large majority approve programs enhancing equal opportunity or providing economic security.
Generally speaking, the rich also approve of taxes, including even increased progressive income taxes that would reduce their net income. They realize that even a very heavy tax would still not affect their lifestyle. Surveys have said the same thing since at least 1987.
All the noise about taxes comes
from loud pundits and politicians,
not the taxpaying public.
All the noise about taxes comes from loud pundits and one-issue politicians, not the taxpaying public. “The evidence demonstrates that majorities or pluralities of Democrats and Republicans, and of upper-, middle-, and low-income earners, mostly agree (repeat: agree) that taxes are necessary to fund essential government programs, that higher taxes should be accepted when needed, and that the better-off should pay more.” [Emphasis in original.]
“Very large majorities of Republicans and high-income earners—up to seven or eight out of ten of them—favor using their tax dollars to help pay for early-childhood education, for job retraining, and for assistance to the poor.” (Page and Jacobs)
These survey facts, old and new, directly contradict the noisy few in Washington and the media who claim that Americans are overtaxed and do not support even present levels of taxation.
These facts directly contradict the noisy few
in Washington and the media.
Is this blog obsolete? Yes, because Americans already support the things about taxes I recorded here. No, because it is only the public who understand; the leaders have not yet learned to follow.
What else is obsolete with this blog? After over 200 entries, I took a look at my ratings. You know, those five stars you can click to rate how good you think an entry is. Few people bothered. What made me laugh is that every single one of the ratings were either one star (very poor), or five stars (excellent). They seem to be evenly divided between rigid conservatives who aren’t the slightest bit interested because they already know, and the others, most of whom are probably my relatives. (Heh-heh.)