Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Today’s the deadline for the vast majority of Americans to file their income taxes, but over half of voters don’t think most members of Congress pay their taxes in full like the rest of us.
Just 16% of Likely U.S. Voters, in fact, think most members of Congress pay all the taxes they owe. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% think most of those in Congress do not pay all their taxes. Another 32% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
These findings have changed little since April 2009.
There’s rare partisan agreement about this, too. Just about half of Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters agree most in Congress don’t pay most of their taxes.
By comparison, only 18% of voters think most Americans cheat on their taxes. Seventy-one percent (71%) of Americans believe most of their fellow countrymen try to be honest when filing their taxes.
On top of their doubts about members of Congress paying their fair share in taxes, 63% of voters think the current congressional salary of $174,000 a year is too much. Seventy-five percent (75%) say Congress should take a 25% pay cut until the federal budget is balanced.
The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 7-8, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Americans believe middle-class Americans currently pay a larger share of their income in taxes than wealthy people do. That’s the highest in regular tracking since February 2010.
Voters have long been highly skeptical of Congress’ integrity and of its performance, so perhaps it’s no surprise that half or more of voters across most demographic categories doubt that members of Congress pay most of their taxes.
Those who earn more than $100,000 annually are more confident than those who earn less that most congressmen pay most of their taxes.
Most union members and gun owners doubt most in Congress pay most of their taxes and believe that more strongly than those who are not unionized or don’t have a gun in their household.
Those who strongly approve of the job President Obama is doing have more faith that most in Congress are paying their full taxes than those who disapprove of the president’s performance.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of all voters think it’s at least somewhat likely that their own representative in Congress has sold his or her vote for cash or campaign contributions.
Seventy-four percent (74%) believe most politicians will break the rules to help people who give them a lot of money.
Sixty-six percent (66%) believe most members of Congress are reelected because election rules are rigged to benefit them. Seventy-two percent (72%) say it would be better for the country if most congressional incumbents were defeated this November.
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