Since starting this blog, I’ve periodically shared polling data that gives me hope. Highlights include:
o More than two-to-one support for personal retirement accounts.
o Recognition that big government is the greatest danger to America’s future.
o An increasingly negative view of the federal government.
o More than eight-to-one support for less spending rather than higher taxes.
o Strong support for bureaucrat layoffs and/or entitlement reforms instead of higher taxes.
o And my favorite poll results are the ones showing that voters understand that the goal is less spending, not lower deficits.
Now there’s some new research that is both encouraging and educational. Here’s part of the report from The Hill.
Three-quarters of likely voters believe the nation’s top earners should pay lower, not higher, tax rates, according to a new poll for The Hill. The big majority opted for a lower tax bill when asked to choose specific rates; precisely 75 percent said the right level for top earners was 30 percent or below. The current rate for top earners is 35 percent. Only 4 percent thought it was appropriate to take 40 percent, which is approximately the level that President Obama is seeking from January 2013 onward. The Hill Poll also found that 73 percent of likely voters believe corporations should pay a lower rate than the current 35 percent… Republicans were more likely than Democrats to support lower tax rates for the wealthy, but voters in both parties solidly supported lower rates compared to current law. Eighty-one percent of Republicans favored tax rates below current levels, compared to 70 percent of Democrats. The Hill Poll, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research of 1,000 likely voters, also found broad support for lower rates across income groups. The group most supportive of lowering tax rates on the wealthy below current rates made between $20,000 and $40,000 a year; 81 percent supported tax rates of 30 percent or lower.
This data is important because it shows the value of framing an issue. Instead of defensively responding to Obama’s class warfare, proponents of good tax policy should be making a philosophical/economic point that “nobody in America, no matter how rich or how poor, should have to pay more than one-fourth of their income to government.”
And proponents of class warfare should be put on the spot and asked “what do you think is the maximum tax rate anyone should pay?”
Last but not least, friends of liberty should make the key point that higher tax rates on the so-called rich are merely precursors for higher tax rates on everyone else – as even the New York Times recently admitted.