With tomorrow, April 17, being tax day, Gallup is out with a new poll showing the country evenly divided about the amount of taxes they pay. Roughly half the country, 46%, thinks they play too much, and roughly half the country, 47%, thinks the amount they pay is about right. From Gallup:
Looking at the chart it is interesting to see what a big impact the Bush tax cuts had on these perceptions. Ironically by finally succeeding with implementing that part of their agenda, the Republicans ended up undercutting what was one of their stronger political selling points.
This poll suggests why the Democrats have made tax season all about the Buffett Rule, instead of taxes in general. From a purely political perspective it has been a fairly successful PR operation. If the past week had been just a general discussion about taxes rates, it would not have favored the Democrats. The Democratic position, that the tax rates for a vast majority of Americans should remain unchanged, is neither particularly popular nor unpopular.
Instead the Democrats successfully made the media conversation this tax season almost exclusively about what millionaires pay. On that small subset of the overall tax issue, Democrats have a clear advantage.