Keller @ Large: Americans Agree–Too Many Tax Breaks For The Rich

BOSTON (CBS) — The king of hot-button issues in American politics—taxes—is in the news once again, thanks to the disclosure that Donald Trump apparently took major advantage of a legal, commonly-exercised part of tax law that allows businesses to reduce or even eliminate their income-tax burden after they suffer losses.

To hear Trump’s allies tell it, this simultaneously illustrates his “genius” as a businessman and reflects poorly on the tax code, an awkward juxtaposition to say the least.

Hillary Clinton’s take is that this proves what a lousy businessman Trump is, with a sub-text of how paying taxes is your patriotic duty.

All this left me wondering what the voters think of the taxes they and other pay—or don’t pay, as the case may be. So I looked it up.

According to the Gallup poll, 57 percent of us think the federal income tax we pay is too high, with 37 percent saying it’s about right. For context, the highest negative rating ever recorded by Gallup was 69 percent in 1969.

But when Gallup asked people of they thought their income taxes were fair, a majority said yes, and it’s been that way since 1999.

And perhaps the most relevant statistic here is when they ask if the rich and corporations pay their fair share. Barely two in ten believe they do.

So to recap—we think our taxes are too high, but don’t think that’s unfair; what we really don’t like are the breaks that the wealthy enjoy.

Clinton is trying to pounce on all this, an effort that may be complicated by her own ties to big money. But it’s going to be hard for Trump to put a shine on a sneaker that 80 percent of Americans are repelled by.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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One Comment

  1. mstarvin says:

    Flat tax!! No deductions, everyone pays. No tax credit for lower paid people…everyone has to have a dog in the race.

    1. bees_knees_6 says:

      Figures about five years old.

      Taxes being federal, state and local. The lowest 20% (12,400/yr avg) pay 16.0% of income to taxes. Next 20% (25,000/yr avg) paid 20.5%. Middle 20% (33,400/yr avg) 25.3% and next 20% (66,000 /yr avg) 28.5%. Taxes rise fairly steadily for the bottom 80%. And then it slows, stops and goes backwards. The next 10% (100,000/yr avg) 30.2%, next 5% (141,000/yr avg) 31.2%, next 4% (245,000/yr avg) 31.6%; and for those in the top 1% (1.3mm/yr avg) it is 30.8%.

      1. bees_knees_6 says:

        Not sure why that replied to you, MO, as it was not intended to. But since I am here. A flat tax of course continues to favor the wealthy. 10% of a million as opposed to 10% of 20,000 means that the lowest are still paying more. One reason Cain never went anywhere. Economists agreed to a large degree that 9-9-9 would not work. Your ending tax credits for lower paid individuals indicates you know this. Remember, and it seems to need repeating, that it is the middle class that drives the economy. You take the money from the middle class and they cannot purchase. It is exactly why we are so slow to recover. Middle class income slowed under Reagan and then stagnated as the top forgot to “trickle” it down.

        It is very simple really. No middle class… economy.

      2. mstarvin says:

        What?? I guess liberals can’t do very simple math?? How is 10% if $1,000,000 less than 10% of $20,000?? I am in the middle class that pay the brunt of taxes. So currently we have the lower class paying no taxes or even worst getting a tax rebate for taxes they never paid. Then we have the upper class that has so many deductions available that they pay very little in percentages…not in dollar values. So what have our glorious politicians done?? They have eliminated most tax deductions for the middle class. They then also impose taxes that the middle class can’t legally avoid like capital gains or inheritance taxes. The very rich can always find deduction for these that are available for the middle class. So I say eliminate this problem and go flat NO deductions. A flat tax would only need to %7 to exceed our current tax intakes.

    2. bees_knees_6 says:

      As a percent of income. The lower income folks pay more income proportionately. Subtracting 7% from 20,000 leaves a whole lots less than 7% of one million. I’m assuming you know the exemption on inheritance taxes and if you are paying them, you are not in the middle class. Ditto for capital gains for lower income folks.

      The analysis of Trump’s flat tax for instance would save money — the most being at the highest level. However, it could also raise the national debit (possibly by trillions).

      I agree that the deductions for highest income need to be eliminated and that they need to be more accessible to the middle class. I just do not agree on a flat tax. Most economists also believe it benefits the wealthy.

      1. mstarvin says:

        Now you worry about the national debt?? You do know how much it has increased under Obama…right???

  2. mikey says:

    With a few bankruptcies under his belt along with being over a half-billion in debt I’m wondering what Trump’s FICO score is. Hmm.

    1. mstarvin says:

      Lol we know yours must be low….people with money have no need for a FICO score…they just buy, with cash, whatever they choose.

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