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CNN: Americans Say Tax $$$ Is Wasted!

From an understated CNN:

Poll: Most Americans say tax dollars are wasted

April 15, 2010

(CNN) — Nearly three-quarters of Americans say that the government wastes their tax dollars, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Thursday also indicates that roughly half the public believes the tax system is unfair, and as a result, four in 10 say they’re angry about the amount of taxes that they pay.

Seventy-four percent of people questioned say that a lot of their tax dollars are wasted by the government; 23 percent say that some of their tax dollars are misspent and three percent say that not much of their tax dollars are wasted.

Only “seventy-four percent” thinks the government wastes a lot of tax dollars? Do the rest all work for the federal government?

Americans are split on their overall opinion of the country’s tax system: 49 percent say it’s fair and 50 percent say it’s unfair, according to the poll.

Lest we forget, at least 47 percent of Americans do not pay any income tax at all. So it’s not too hard to believe that 49 percent think the system is “fair.”

"Six in 10 Democrats say that the tax system is fair," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Republicans are split down the middle, with 49 percent calling it fair and 51 percent thinking it is unfair."

Again, we suspect that these numbers are low-balled, to put it mildly.

Four in 10 questioned say that they are angry about the amount of taxes they pay; 36 percent say they’re satisfied and just under one in four say they don’t have particular feelings on the issue.

Nearly half of Republicans questioned say they’re angry, but that figure drops to 44 percent among Independents and 29 percent among Democrats…

Why does our watchdog media always trot out the term "angry" when they talk about people objecting to taxes and government spending?

They never described even the most vicious protestors against the war in Iraq (or Vietnam) as “angry.” No, they were peace protesters who ‘objected’ to what our government was doing in a foreign country.

But when people object to what our government is doing to its own citizens, they are always portrayed as crazy hot heads.

However, it appears that Americans aren’t taking their anger out on the Internal Revenue Service.

"Only a quarter of all Americans think that the Internal Revenue Service should be abolished," Holland said.

Again, we find that number hard to believe.

Six in 10 say that the tax cuts passed in 2001 under George W. Bush that are set to expire this year should be made permanent, according to the survey…

Sixty percent is roughly the same percentage of Americans who opposed Obama-care. And we see how that turned out.

We have taxation with representation in name only, nowadays.

In reality, our government masters don’t really care one whit what we think — except on election day.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, April 15th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

19 Responses to “CNN: Americans Say Tax $$$ Is Wasted!”

  1. BillK says:

    It doesn’t matter, as long as we have people like the woman allegedly profiled on the Tea Party story page – “I hate the Government – except for my Social Security and Medicare, don’t touch those!” – they win.

    Free Candy wins every time it’s tried – who cares if the people giving it out are shoplifting it from stores, driving them out of business.

    In all seriousness, will anyone we willing to give up their Government services to shrink Government’s size?

    When it comes to our daily lives, I suspect the answer is, unfortunately, “no.”

    It’s tough when people believe “I paid into Social Security all my life, I deserve my benefits” when they don’t realize the money they paid in paid for the benfits their grandparents have been receiving.

    Not surprising as the fiscal intelligence level of most of the public (and all of the Government) is near zero.

    After all, why not blatantly lie to the people when the media can be used to shout down the miniscule portion of the public that actually understands?

    • proreason says:

      I gotta tell you, BillK, that after contributing big bucks to Social Security for decades, on top of huge bucks to Federal Taxes, and another big chunk to Medicare…..I don’t consider the payback (at about 3% on the investment) to be a “benefit”…..I consider it to be MY MONEY.

      And I have a pretty strong hunch that 95%+ or so of the people, even on this very conservative web-site, view it the same way.

      Now, if the money hadn’t already been confiscated, I would probably feel differently about it.

      But bottom line, if you think that the hallmark of conservatism is voluntarilly releasing the 15.3%-of-income forced “savings” that people have been putting into SS/Medicare for decades….you are nuts.

      Save your thunder for the something for nothing crowd.

    • AcornsRNutz says:

      Gotta agree with you here, Bill. Just becasue the country took a bill of goods on medicade, medicare, SS etc, doesn’t mean we are now hopelessly stuck with the crap. ENTITLEMENTS from the government are wrong, and sorry PR, but that is a hallmark of conservatism. The answer to me is end all of those programs immediately, allow the pensioners drawing it to continue until they expire, and credit those who have paid in against future due taxes. People are gonna get shafted, sure, but to say “well I have been getting shafted by this crappy system of entitlements, so I am going to advocate it stay around” simply means that you are ensuring that shafting to futute generations. I will take the loss on my SS “savings” if it means my kids don’t have to pay into social security.

  2. bill says:

    If government was treated as a normal business there would not be enough people who aren’t in jail to make it function.

    Don’t sit idly by, join a tea party today. Our’s is all afternoon, starts at noon …

  3. proreason says:

    “Nearly three-quarters of Americans say that the government wastes their tax dollars”

    well, it depends on what the definition of “waste” is, doesn’t it.

    When hundreds of billions of Medicare dollars are siphoned into the pockets of crooks, and when hundreds of billions of “Stimulus” dollars are siphoned into the pockets of democratic politicians (oops, I shouldn’t be redundant), Obamy would say that is “being fair” with your money, not “wasting” it.

    • GetBackJack says:

      “Whoever Claims The Right To Redistribute The Wealth Of Others, Claims The Right To Treat Human Beings As Chattel.” Ayn Rand

  4. proreason says:

    Cute video on taxes.


    Makes the point with humor.

  5. Right of the People says:

    “Only a quarter of all Americans think that the Internal Revenue Service should be abolished,” Holland said.

    This is what happens when you cherry-pick your audience/poll group. I find it hard to believe that only 25% of the population of the US believe the IRS should be abolished. I don’t know of anyone who likes the IRS including their own families. Who did they poll to get this ludicrous result, the Saul Alinsky study group at Obammy’s alma mater Moscow on Cambridge?

    There is no denying that some taxes have to be collected to pay for national defense but a progressive (just that word should tell you something is wrong with it) income tax has never been and never will be fair or equitable. Even the Peoples Democratic Republic on Massachusetts has a flat income tax, that alone should tell you something. the Dimocrats have tried 5 different times to institute a progressive tax and 5 times have been defeated. The concept of taxing you because you’re employed and contributing member of society is wrong on so many levels.

    The fairest tax is a usage tax like a national sales tax. If you don’t consume, then you don’t pay taxes. If they abolished income taxes and went to the sales tax many economists say tax revenue would actually go up since everyone would be paying it, not just the 53% who pay now.

    • skclewis says:

      “The fairest tax is a usage tax like a national sales tax. ” I totally agree. While attending college many eons ago (to set the state it was Ivy League) I recall discussing this with another student. He had written a paper for a public taxation econ class proposing such a tax. Again mind you this was the around 1970, he based is data on consumer spending at the time and forecast by the Fed. His conclusion was that within a relatively short period the Federal government would have enough money to make significant investments in national infrastructure, defense, and space exploration, to name a few. There would also be enough to give plenty back to the states for their use. He further proposed that the collection would not require any further expansion of government and the Income Tax amendment could be repealed [thus abolishing the IRS]. The sales tax money was to be remitted to the Treasury Department via the banking system. It was pretty radical at the time. The feedback he got from the econ professors was mixed as expected. Those who were Keynesian considered it illogical and totally lacking in merit, while those who followed the thinking of Milton Freeman agreed with him. Given where I went to school it shouldn’t be hard to figure out which group predominated and his grade on the paper.

    • proreason says:

      The problem with usage taxes and any other major overhaul of the tax system is the disruption it will cause. As a small example, tens of thousands of tax preparers would be put out of business. Ultimately, it’s a good thing to re-direct their efforts to more useful activities. But it’s a catastrophe for the people whose livlihood will be destroyed. Again, that is one very small impact.

      I was nearly bankrupted by the Reagen tax changes in the 80’s. As I said a couple of days ago, it took me 20 years to fight my way out of that economic catastrophe.

      It’s really just another function of big government. There isn’t any place to hide when a 50 million ton gorilla starts to stomp around. Even if the stomping has a good long-term direction, a lot of people are going to be hurt.

      The proper approach is to gradually move from one system to another, and to provide relief for people who are damaged.

      The untimate answer is to put a halt to the growth of Big / Obamy / Bwarney Governement, except for national defense, and begin to downsize it’s 50 million ton tentacles.

    • Right of the People says:


      After I left the employ of Uncle Sams Army, I went to school on the GI bill to a state school where in our economic class they still taught common sense economics, not radical, pie-in-the-sky economics like Keynesian. This was also in the early ’70s. Our professor was old school and he thought Keynes was a whackadoodle. He also was a conservative so he probably never got his tenure.

      The governance of the our country has suffered from a lack of common sense for way too long. I’m hoping that this fall if the Republicans can take back congress that they have learned their lesson and do what “We the People” want them to do, and not what some lobbyist bribes them to do. If they are as unresponsive as the Dimocraps, we’ll need to vote them out in 2012 and vote in someone who will

    • mr_bill says:

      Pro, I agree with the short term impact of the change in systems and I also agree with RoP and skclewis on the merit of a consumption based tax. I think it might be feasible to gradually shift to a consumption tax, whereby the federal income tax is reduced incrementally to zero as the consumption tax is gradually phased in. By the longer term shift, you avoid the jolt of thousands of tax preparers losing jobs and throwing a bunch of IRS employees into the labor pool all at once. The trick is setting legislation safeguards such that the transitional period is not abused by government. Although, at this point, the discussion is mostly academic since the statist trend is toward BOTH forms of taxes.

    • proreason says:

      It’s way more than tax preparers and IRS agents.

      I was nearly wiped out in the 80’s because of the change in rental property depreciation rules. Multiply that by a millions and that’s what you will get with a one-time shift to a consumption tax.

      Virtually every business in the country has shaped its business model to the tax code. Change the tax code and the impact to business would be unimaginable. Some would be better off. MANY would go out of business.

      And that’s just business. Millions of people have bought houses with the expectation of mortgage interest and property tax deductions. That might not matter to you, but millions of people would go bankrupt.

      And that’s just the start of it.

      Although philosophically, I support the goal of a better tax system……in practice, a rapid change to a new system would be just as disruptive and dangerous as ObamyScare will be, because the integration with the entire economic system is just as intense.

      Gradual change is the only reasonable answer.

      But the best answer is phasing out big government entirely. Then the whole tax issue disappears.

    • mr_bill says:

      I chose IRS employees and tax preparers as examples since they were obvious and we could all agree that they would be impacted immediately. In many cases, there will be a trade-off: as the income tax deduction disappears, so does that portion of the income tax. I don’t know what kind of time frame is necessary to make a the smooth transition I proposed without causing more harm than good, maybe 10 years or more. I don’t even know if a consumption tax is ultimately the right answer but I think its better than the current redistributive system of half the country leeching off the other half.

      I will admit that because of the complexity of the current tax code and the fact that it permeates every aspect of our lives, that the repercussions of changing it could have unintended consequences, both good and bad. Vetting these ideas and looking for problems and solutions is step one in the process. On changes, I defer to the Declaration of Independence, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed…”

      You’re right about reducing big government. With all the reports in the last week saying that no amount of taxation will solve the problem and that it’s a spending issue, first and foremost, there is no reason not to start addressing the problem there. We should start cutting spending on the things where a large consensus agrees and work our way down the list, government grew that way – it can shrink that way, too.

    • skclewis says:

      I agree that a sound, common-sense economic approach would be a gradual phase in. I also wholehardily agree that government spending must be cut drastically. The federal budget should consist of only those expenses required to fufill is Consitution-based role. But that won’t happen quickly. I think even 10 years might be too soon. But we do have to start somewhere. The current tax system is way over-bloated and for every rule there’s a counter-rule to favor some interest group. I thought it amusing when Clancy brought it up in his book “Executive Order”. For those not familiar with it, his lead character, Jack Ryan, becomes President and is faced with rebuilding almost the entire federal government. In one scene his new Secretary of the Treasury is briefing a congressional committee about taxes. He has his aides truck in boxes upon boxes containing the current tax code and placing them on one of those solid oak hearing tables. Before all the boxes are placed on the table, the table crashes in a thunderous roar. I think if someone was to do that with many of the laws passed in the past several decades the same would happen. And then challenge the Congress to rebuild only enough that could be supported by a good quality card table. Just thinking about that confrontation makes me chuckle. :)

  6. canary says:

    Pretty sure this was a CNN poll where there watchers vote. Couple a days ago, switched to CNN during a commerical, and streaming on the bottom were CNN poll after CNN poll. probably people that watch and go to web and vote. The results were nothing like mainstream, and no doubt from CNN fans only.
    I am more stunned at this years tea party media coverage by our liberal media than ever. Media acting implying they were extremely dangerous. Yet not one photo of even a radical sign. They are always more like 4th of July, no bizarre signs like some I enjoy looking at of other party’s and not one single
    in filtered trouble maker as there has not been one at the others. It was so tame, but obviously only and simply a political threat.

  7. AcornsRNutz says:

    10 percent. And that covers everything, not just income taxes, but the sum total of what you owe the government. And elminate the witholding system. IF that isn’t enough to sustain the entitlements and endowments and bailouts etc and still keep the government paid, then they need to make some cuts somewhere. It’ll never happen as long as the folks that are being ripped off still have the various entitlements dangling in front of them like carrots. Welfare for those that don’t work and Social security for those that do. Endstate: government dependence no matter what.

  8. jambon says:

    “The problem with usage taxes and any other major overhaul of the tax system is the disruption it will cause. As a small example, tens of thousands of tax preparers would be put out of business.”

    That doesn’t seem to be much of a concern or consideration regarding health insurance agents out of a job once the company they work for is put out of business.

    • proreason says:

      Are you implying I’m not concerned about that? Because you would be wrong.

      In fact, it’s one of the major reason’s for my opposition to ObamyScare. The whole idiot scheme is a massive disruption to the economy…..and one certain to result in disaster to millions of people, including shortening the lives of millions.

      My flavor of conservatism is to not make any sudden moves, unless somebody attacks a naval base or knocks down some tall buildings.

      Completely restructuring the most complex industry in the country so that politicians have more power is insanity, not good policy.

      The Republicans get this one. Make a few high-value changes until the people say that’s enough. Anything else is the mark of a megalomaniac and fascists.

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