Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fine. I Concede (re: Income Taxes)

Okay, alright, I know when I'm licked.  I thought I had a harmless but at least mildly interesting observation about people not knowing what income taxes -- sorry, commenter Andrew, make that Income Taxes -- and quite a few regular, excellent commenters let me know that I was wrong...not to mention that I can't even hold the Jonathan club, as I wind up on the wrong end of a J. Chait post.  Since I don't disagree with any of the things that any of these smart folks say, it's pretty clear that whatever point I originally might have had was useless at best and quite possibly foolish, and I hereby give up.  I'll stick an update on the original post, and I'm done with this one.


  1. But people really do not know what they pay in taxes, so your point is still at least partly right. I remember arguing 10 years ago with a colleague who was leaning toward voting for Bush because of that awful Clinton tax hike and how oppressive it was to her. She was making probably $45,000 a year at the time, was clearly talking about income taxes, had obviously not been subject to an increase in those taxes under Clinton, and was basing her assessment of *her own tax liability* not on her actual tax returns but on right-wing talking points she was hearing on cable TV. I doubt she was alone in any of that; in fact, it seems to me I've seen polling just this year that suggests that the Tea Partiers and others believe that Obama has raised their taxes when, in fact, he's lowered them.

  2. I think people have a visceral reaction to the mere word "taxes" and therefore any survey about such a thing is bound to yield a rather useless, skewed, emotionally-driven, lizard-brain response.

    And while we're on the topic I am sick to death of surveys. Is there no topic that goes unexamined by a survey panel anymore? Surveys are the definition of useless.

  3. I really enjoyed your comment, so thank you. it wasn't useless. Even (if)(though) all the responses are correct.


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