I had always assumed that death and taxes, while inevitable, would both universally rank pretty low on popularity surveys. A new Washington Post/ABC poll does find that a strong majority of Americans pretty much hate the U.S. tax code, except for one interesting subgroup — Democrats. A majority of Democrats, 53%, actually have a favorable view of our tax system, while just 43% have an unfavorable impression.
Among all registered voters, 60% have an unfavorable view of our tax system. Over half of these voters are strongly opposed to our current tax system. The views of Republicans and Independents are largely in line with this view. 66% of Republicans and 62% of Independents have an unfavorable view of the tax code.
Other than Democrats, no other subgroup of voters has a favorable impression of the tax code. Even self-described liberals, by a slim plurality, 47-49, have a negative view of our tax system. Breaking down voters by sex, race, income, education, age or region all show clear majorities with an unfavorable view of the U.S. tax code. Democrats really are different than the rest of us.
The cynic in me would suggest that the findings indicate that a Venn diagram would show a large overlap between Democrats and those who don’t pay federal taxes. The findings are more likely a reflection of the hardening of partisan lines. President Obama, a Democrat, is in the White House, so self-described Democrats are more likely to say they approve of our tax system.
Still, I’d like to see that Venn diagram.