Most Americans continue to believe the middle class pays more in taxes than those who are wealthy, and they favor an income tax system where everyone pays the same percentage of their income.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 23% of Adults think wealthy Americans pay a larger share of their income in taxes. Sixty-four percent (64%) disagree and say middle-class Americans pay a larger share. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
This marks little change since 2009. It's important to note, however, that the question does not define either "middle class" or "wealthy" by specific income levels.
Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters favor a tax system where everyone pays the same percentage of their income in taxes, up 10 points from last year at this time. Twenty-six percent (26%) oppose such a system, and another 19% are undecided about it.
But a plurality (43%) opposes the elimination of all tax deductions in exchange for lower tax rates, down eight points from a year ago. Twenty-three percent (23%) say it's a good idea. Twenty-nine percent (29%) aren't sure.
Sixty-five percent (65%) say if deductions for charitable donations were reduced for wealthy Americans, it is at least somewhat likely that the wealthy would give less to charity. That includes 40% who say it is Very Likely. Twenty-one percent (21%) think that's unlikely, but only six percent (6%) say it is Not At All Likely.
(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on March 13-14, 2011 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.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.