Over 6 in 10 Americans say rich people, corporations taxed too little: poll

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-18 23:52:58|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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WASHINGTON, April 18 (Xinhua) -- More than six in 10 U.S. adults believe upper-income Americans and corporations are paying too little in taxes, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

In contrast, about half of Americans say middle- and lower-income people pay too much, while the other half say these groups are currently paying their fair share or are not paying enough, the Gallup 2017 Economy and Finance survey found.

As many as 14 percent of the respondents say lower-income Americans pay too little, down from 24 percent five years ago.

The view that middle-income people in the United States pay too much in taxes has been higher each of the past two years since the George W. Bush tax cuts went into effect in the early 2000s, the Gallup analyst Frank Newport said.

When Gallup began asking this question in the 1990s, the "too much" viewpoint dominated.

By 2003, after the first round of Bush tax cuts and the nation's increased focus on the war on terrorism, the percentage saying middle-income people paid too much fell significantly. At the same time, the perception that middle-income people's taxes were fair increased.

In 2014, the public once again showed more concern that middle-income taxpayers paid too much. Since then, Americans have continued to be more likely to say this group pays too much, rather than their fair share in taxes, according to Newport.

At the same time, Americans are more likely to believe lower-income people pay too little than say this about middle-income people.

The belief that lower-income people pay too little in taxes rose from 10 percent in 2005, during the Bush administration, to as high as 24 percent during the Barack Obama administration in 2012 before dropping to 14 percent this year.

These shifts mainly reflect Republicans' shifting views, the Gallup analyst noted. In 2005, 15 percent of Republicans said lower-income people pay too little in taxes. This rose to 40 percent by 2012, but fell back to 24 percent this year.

Few Democrats have held the belief that lower-income people pay too little in taxes in any of these years.

The new survey was conducted on April 5-9 via telephone interviews, with a random sample of 1,019 adults, aged 18 and older, across the United States. The margin of sampling error is 4 percentage points.