For the second straight year, slightly less than half of Americans say the amount of federal income tax they have to pay is too high, while almost as many say the amount they pay in taxes is about right.That's 48% say their federal income taxes are too high, compared to 45% who say "just right," 3% who think their federal income taxes are too low.
And, the New York Times:
Forty-seven percent. That’s the portion of American households that owe no income tax for 2009.That's from an excellent David Leonhardt article that explains who actually pays taxes, and what kind of taxes.
Did you catch that? Half of American households don't pay income tax, and half of the American people believe that they, themselves, pay too much income tax.
I realize that households aren't quite the same as people, but either way one of two things is true: either virtually everyone who pays any federal income tax at all thinks that they pay too much, or a whole lot of people who pay zero income taxes believe they pay too much. A quick look at Gallup's crosstabs make it clear that the answer is the latter, since the "pay too much" answer turns out not to vary much by income. That's right -- 44% of those who make $20K a year or less believe they pay too much in federal income tax, and 41% of those who make between $20K and $30K believe they pay too much in federal income tax. The vast majority of those people do not pay a single penny in federal income taxes.
I mean, forget about asking people what they know about government and public affairs. If they don't know that they, themselves, don't pay any income tax...you know, I don't even know how to complete that sentence.