Why Americans Don't Hate the Income Tax

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

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.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

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

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Politics

Just In