While most Americans feel that middle class and lower income individuals pay their fair share or too much in taxes, overwhelming majorities believe rich people and corporations pay far too little, according to the latest poll from Gallup. A total of 59 percent think upper income Americans are paying less than their fair share of taxes, while a full two-thirds, 67 percent, think corporations pay too little in taxes.

Perceptions of Taxes Paid by Income Groups, Corporations

Looking at this chart, in addition to the recent data about how the richest 400 Americans paid lower tax rates than teachers, it is amazing to think House Republicans just voted for a budget that would actually lower taxes for the wealthiest individuals and corporations.

You would think, based on this poll, at least one of America’s two major parties during this era of deficit hysteria and huge economic pain for the middle class would make the political decision to run on a populist platform of taxing the wealthy and our bailed-out Wall Street firms as the top way to reduce the deficit. It would be wildly popular.

The fact that both parties have instead taken up this “need for shared sacrifice” rhetoric, which doesn’t directly confront and single out the super rich, is another sign of how totally dependent our politicians are on staying in the favor of the big corporations and wealthy patrons to solicit campaign donations.