Why Americans Don't Hate the Income Tax

More

Gallup does a poll on Americans' views of the income tax every year, but this year it actually finds that a majority of Americans think the tax they pay is either "about right" or "too low":

income tax high or low.jpg
But interestingly, the number of people who think the tax they pay is "fair" remains more-or-less unchanged at 60%. This suggests there are people who believe the tax they pay is too high, but nonetheless fair.

Is this cognitive dissonance? I suppose it doesn't have to be, since you can think the income tax is too high for reasons besides fairness. You might, for instance, think the income tax weighs down growth like a grindstone. But the first question is about how much individuals pay -- not whether the tax structure as a whole is too burdensome.

So I'll ask: Is there anyone who thinks the tax they pay is too high, but still fair? And why?


income tax fair.jpg

Jump to comments
Presented by

Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. More

Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism, an economics blog that was recently published in book form by Simon and Schuster. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. He is also on Twitter.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

Social Security is the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In