It’s a well-known fact that most people in America don’t like taxes, right? No one really wants to give away his or her hard earned money to the government, who may or may not put it to good use. After all, why should the government take such a huge part of a person’s paycheck and arbitrarily spend it on programs and policies that he or she might not even agree with? So, of course, no one likes taxes, right? Americans hate taxes. But wait; do they really? Or, is that just what most people in the country believe? There is actually some evidence that may indicate that Americans actually feel good about paying taxes. What? That can’t possibly be true.
According to one recent report, more than 95 percent of all Americans who responded to a survey regarding taxes, agreed that doing so was pat of their civic duty and that paying taxes was also very patriotic. Could it be that American’s actually take pride in paying their taxes? It seems that many people from all walks of life and from all over the country actually feel a sense of pride when it comes to paying their taxes. Paying an honest and fair tax helps them feel more connected to their country and many see taxes as a way of giving back for the freedoms they enjoy. Many other taxpayers see taxes as a way to help the country down the road. Whatever the reason, it appears that many U.S. citizens don’t loathe paying taxes as much as we are lead to believe.
These positive feelings about taxes seem to bypass political parties as well, with many surveys showing that Republicans are actually much more likely than democrats to view paying taxes as a moral responsibility. So what about tax increases; are those popular as well? According to one report, about half of all state-level ballot measures that have included a tax increase, since 2000, have actually passed. Compare that to the 1980’s when about one out of every five tax-increase measures passed. That would appear to indicate that more and more Americans are willing to hand over more of their hard-earned money to help pay for government programs. However, it’s not all roses and unicorns.
Paying taxes is important and no one can argue that many tax dollars are put to good use. Likewise, paying a fair tax is certainly something everyone should do. However, what do American’s have to say about how the government spends its hard earned tax dollars; are taxpayers happy with those choices? The answer is, of course, mixed, depending on which side of the political arena you lay. However, it appears that no matter which political party you side with, most Americans do agree that even though paying taxes is part of their civic duty, the government still needs to be held more accountable for how they spend those tax dollars. Reports also indicate that most Americans are not very satisfied with congress, which also casts a negative shadow on taxes and how that money ends up being used. Plus, very few people have a positive view of the IRS, which overseas taxes.
So, in the end, do Americans really hate taxes? The answer appears to be not as much as we are lead to believe. However, it also appears that the country is not all that in love with how their tax dollars are actually spent. The bottom line then, appears to be that while Americans are OK with paying an honest tax, they aren’t necessarily thrilled with how the government is spending their money.
This post was published on August 11, 2015