Economy & Budget

Taxing the wealthy isn’t a priority for voters

Taxing the wealthy isn't a priority for voters

Numerous polls over the years have found that Americans aren’t exactly reluctant to raise taxes on wealthier Americans. What does that mean in substance? Not much. It reminds me of those useless presidential approval ratings: The real question isn’t “do you like the president?” but rather “do you like him less than the other guy?”

It turns out, that when voters are asked to prioritize their concerns for the presidency, sticking it to the rich ranks so low that it has to look up at global warming — an issue that is perpetually near the bottom. In a new Gallup poll (summary below), “Americans assign much less importance to increasing taxes on wealthy Americans and dealing with environmental concerns.”

If the Gallup poll truly reflects the mindset of Americans, it’s curious that Barack Obama would tether his entire reelection campaign and attack (not to mention policy agenda) to the idea that taxing the wealthy will somehow transform an unjust nation into a fair one, and a struggling economy into a robust one.

If this poll is to be believed, if Obama wins, it won’t be because Americans have fallen for the populist “fair share” argument.

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