Great Minds Think Alike
A Gallup poll showing that 48% of Americans believe their federal income tax burden is “about right,” and 46% saying it’s “too high” has naturally generated some conversation.
Both Dave Schuler and Kevin Drum, though, looked behind the numbers and realized the 48% figure isn’t so impressive once you factor in the fact that somewhere between 40% and 50% of Americans pay zero federal income taxes. (To be sure, most of them pay some sort of taxes, including other federal taxes like FICA; but the poll question is specifically about federal income taxes.)
Of course, most Americans probably have no idea how much federal income tax they’re actually paying. Our withholding based system makes it seem like most people are paying more than they actually are. And that refund check at the end of the year just seems like a bonus.