The Tax Foundation released its “2009 Survey of U.S. Attitudes on Taxes, Government Spending and Wealth Distribution” yesterday.
Some interesting findings include:
- 56 percent of respondents think taxes are too high;
- Only 14 percent are willing to pay more than $10,000 a year in total taxes for the government services they receive from all level of governments—federal, state and local;
- 34 percent prefer decreased government services and lower taxes, 36 percent want services and taxes to stay the same, only 10 percent want more services and higher taxes;
- 44 percent would exchange their federal tax deductions, such as for home mortgage interest, for a cut in their income tax rate; and
- 67 percent favor killing the death tax.
The results clearly show Americans do not want more government services and do not want to pay more taxes.
The most compelling finding is that Americans overwhelmingly favor completely killing off the death tax. Its time Congress acts to make this happen. Doing so would be a boon to the economy and prevent countless small businesses from being unnecessarily burdened by this unfair tax.
The least surprising finding is that 85 percent think the federal income tax code is too complex. And 82 percent think it needs to be completely overhauled, or at least major changes. President Obama recently formed a tax reform panel to study how to improve the tax code. The panel should seriously consider a flat tax because of its simplicity and positive economic impact.
Entitlement spending on social security and Medicare and Medicaid will explode the federal budget in the near future. Congress should note this survey finds a majority of Americans already think taxes are too high and 81 percent are unwilling to pay additional taxes to close the budget deficit. Fortunately there are policy solutions that fix the entitlement problem without raising taxes or expanding already enormous deficits.