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Public Opinion Snapshot: The Public Is Ready for Tax Reform

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The public is well aware of the unfairness in our tax system and wants change. This sentiment is explicitly found in a just-released CBS/New York Times poll, where 55 percent said upper-income Americans pay less than their fair share of taxes, compared to just 11 percent who said they pay more than their fair share and 24 percent who said they pay about the right amount.

One way to make upper-income Americans pay a fairer share of taxes is to treat capital gains and dividends—currently taxed at only 15 percent—the same as income from work. In the same poll, the public approved of taxing capital gains at the same rate as work income by 52-36.

 

Given current high levels of inequality, the case for tax reform that promotes fairness has never been more compelling. The public is clearly ready for change and no amount of conservative sputtering about “class warfare” is likely to dissuade them.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis, go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or ashoup@americanprogress.org

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or cpatterson@americanprogress.org

Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or mmeth@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or lhamilton@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Public Opinion Snapshot

For more from the same column, click here