Rushad Thomas

The Top Five Tax Polling Questions Anyone Would Ever Need to Know

Posted by Rushad Thomas on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012, 3:46 PM PERMALINK

Tax questions are among the most commonly polled issues by America’s opinion survey industry. It is important that conservatives use this positive tax polling data to our advantage, since the American people are generally supportive of the conservative message on taxes.

  • "Do you favor or oppose completely eliminating the estate tax, that is, the tax on property left by people who die?" When the Kaiser Family Foundation, National Public Radio and Harvard University asked about the "death tax," 60% favored eliminating it; 54% favored eliminating the tax when it was called the "estate tax" in another question on the same poll.
  • “What is the maximum percentage of a person’s income that should go to taxes – that is, all taxes, state, federal, and local?” The mean percentage for 2009 was 15.6 percent, up slightly from 14.7 percent in 2007. A plurality of those polled, 42 percent, felt that the maximum income tax rate should be between 10 and 19 percent. In 2007, a whopping 47 percent of those polled said that the maximum income tax rate should be between 10 and 19 percent.
  • “Do you believe that the amount you pay in taxes is too high?” A poll he took in April 2011 showed that 64% of voters believe that Americans are overtaxed.
  • “Do you prefer a government with fewer services and lower taxes, or more services and higher taxes?” 68% of voters said they prefer a government with fewer services and lower taxes.
  • “Are you willing to pay higher taxes to help reduce the federal budget deficit?” 71% of Americans answered no.


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Payroll Tax Holiday: Temporary from the Beginning

Posted by Rushad Thomas on Friday, January 13th, 2012, 2:39 PM PERMALINK

In December 2010, Congress enacted a 2 percentage point payroll tax reduction, bringing the FICA rate down from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent as a part of the legislation extending unemployment benefits and preventing tax rates from rising. All throughout the debate Democrats billed the reduction as a temporary move, slated to expire on December 31, 2011. Congress is considering whether to extend this rebate. Because it was always a temporary measure, opposition to this extension cannot fairly be called support for a tax increase. There is ample evidence that Democrats always believed the payroll tax rebate to be temporary.

  • The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation both scored the tax cut as a temporary payroll tax reduction leading to a loss of $67,239,000 in revenue for 2011 and $44,414,000 in revenue for 2012, yet scored the revenue loss as zero for the years past 2012.
  • The White House’s FY2012 Budget describes it as “…A temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax rate for employees and self-employed individuals... [for] wages received after December 31, 2010 and before January 1, 2012.”

In addition, the record bears a number of statements by prominent Democrats indicating their original intention for the tax to be temporary.

“Well, let me say a few things.  One, if I’m not mistaken, the commission had a payroll tax cut in their proposal.  Two, this is not a long-term -- this is not a -- by definition, a long-term plan.  This is an agreement to -- basically tax policy for the next two years.”
Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, WH Press Briefing, December 14, 2010

“This bill is going to breathe life into the private sector through a payroll tax reduction of 2 percent for 1 year.”
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) speech on the Senate Floor, Wednesday, December 10, 2010

“This agreement would also mean a 2 percent employee payroll tax cut for workers next year -- a tax cut that economists across the political spectrum agree is one of the most powerful things we can do to create jobs and boost economic growth.” (emphasis added)
President Obama, December 6, 2010, Statement by the President on Tax Cuts and Unemployment Benefits

“Some top Democrats appear less concerned that any push to extend the tax cut would be successful. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the Democrats' message in favor of allowing the tax holiday to expire would be simple: "That it's necessary to save Social Security." Asked if Democrats will be successful capping the tax holiday at one year, Frank responded with one word: "Yes."
December 26, 2010 The Hill article by Mike Lillis entitled “Republican leaders say there are no plans to extend payroll tax holiday.”

More from Americans for Tax Reform