Tax Day is just around the corner!
By Chris Cillizza
A clear majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of the federal income tax system, according to new Washington Post-ABC News polling. But, in a somewhat remarkable finding, a majority of Democrats view the tax system in a positive light while Republicans and Independents carry the exact opposite view.
Fifty-three percent of self-identified Democrats in the Post-ABC survey view the income tax system favorably while 43 percent see it unfavorably. That’s a stark contrast to the 66 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of independents who have an unfavorable opinion of the tax system.
What explains that massive disparity between Democrats and Republicans/Independents when it comes to the tax system?
Part of the answer may well be that Democrats are broadly supportive of the idea that government can and should collect taxes in order to provide services for the American public while Republicans and independents are more skeptical about giving money to the federal government to spend.
Another part may be that the tax question winds up being read by partisans as a broader test of their feelings about the federal government. Democrats, with President Obama in the White House, are more likely to feel favorably (or at least express a favorable opinion) about the government. Republicans are not.
Whatever the reason, the data is intriguing given that President Obama will release his budget proposal today even as the two parties continue to circle one another in the seemingly endless dance of how to solve (or at least address) the nation’s debt problems.
Reforming the tax code has long been a priority for Republicans who insist it could reduce the deficit while averting a tax rate increase. But, at least according to these Post-ABC numbers, Democrats don’t see the tax system as broken and may well put up a fight if and when their GOP rivals push tax reform over tax increases as a solution to the country’s fiscal problems.