Poll: What is the wealthy’s ‘fair share’ of taxes?

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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As President Obama works to promote jobs legislation that would raise taxes on high wage-earners, his justification frequently leans on a desire to see the wealthy pay their “fair share” in taxes. Now a Resurgent Republic poll has identified what voters believe that “fair share” is.

The poll asked respondents: “What do you think is the maximum percentage that the federal government should take from any individual’s income?”

Obama has not set a specific rate at which he wants to tax the wealthy, but John McHenry, partner and vice president of Ayres, McHenry and Associates, suggests the public’s appetite for higher income taxes is likely much lower than Obama’s.

“Nearly two-thirds of voters — 65 percent overall, including 71 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of Independents, and 63 percent of Democrats — think the maximum tax rate should be twenty percent or lower,” writes McHenry.

“And a quarter of voters — 27 percent overall, including 26 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of Independents, and 30 percent of Democrats — think the maximum percentage should be no more than ten percent.”

“While voters may think that everyone should “pay their fair share,” their idea of a fair share is well below the percentage the President envisions,” McHenry adds.

Twenty-seven percent of respondents said income taxes should be capped at 10 percent of an individual’s income; 16 percent of respondents said fifteen, 22 percent of respondents said twenty, 14 percent of respondents said thirty, just 4 percent of respondents said forty, and 3 percent of respondents said fifty percent or more. Thirteen percent expressed no opinion.