No one likes to pay taxes but come April 15 many Americans will do just that if they haven’t already, and more than half of them won’t think they’re paying too much. That’s just one of several surprising findings from a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.
Fifty-three percent of the public say they’re paying the right amount in federal taxes given what they get in return from the government, while 40% say they’re paying more than their fair share, according to the survey which was conducted in late February. Only 27% say they are bothered “a lot” by what they pay in taxes.
But that’s not how they feel about the taxes corporations and wealthy Americans pay. Sixty-four percent say they are bothered “a lot” that some corporations don’t pay their fair share, and 61% share that sentiment about some wealthy people. Another 18% are bothered “some” by the amount of taxes some corporations and wealthy people pay.
Not surprisingly the view of the federal tax system breaks down along political lines and reflects a widening partisan divide. Fifty percent of Republicans say they are paying more than their fair share compared to 30% of Democrats. Three years ago the comparable numbers were 37% for Republicans and 38% for Democrats. There was no virtually no divide between the parties then; now many more Republicans believe they’re paying too much in taxes while fewer Democrats believe that.