3 in 4 Voters Don’t Think Millionaires Pay Enough in Taxes, According to Latest American Pulse™ Survey

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6,061 respondents participated in the 2nd September American Pulse conducted 9/27-9/28/2011. The latest results show that most Registered Voters would like to see millionaires pay more in taxes, saying it is “good math.” The majority of Voters, however, don’t know what tax rate millionaires pay on their income based on the IRS tax tables.

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Only 17% of Voters know the federal tax rate millionaires pay, while nearly half think it’s only 15%.

With so many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, it is no surprise that 74.2% of Registered Voters don’t think millionaires pay their fair share of taxes, while only 1 in 4 (25.8%) does, according to the latest American Pulse™ Survey of 6,061 respondents. 85.3% of Registered Democrats think millionaires don’t pay enough taxes, and 76.7% of Independents and 58.2% of Republicans agree. However, most of these Voters do not know that the IRS tax tables state people earning $1 million in a year are taxed at a 35% rate:

What Voters Think Millionaires Pay in Income Taxes
15% ($150,000): 46.6%
25% ($250,000): 22.5%
33% ($330,000): 13.6%
35% ($350,000): 17.3% (correct answer)

Source: American Pulse™ Survey, September-2011

20.6% of Republicans chose 35% as the income tax rate for millionaires, along with 16.7% of Independents and 14.8% of Democrats.

For a full, complimentary report, click here.

Most Voters believe the president’s example of Warren Buffet: 59.5% think Buffet pays a lower income tax rate than his secretary. 21.4% don’t believe this scenario while 19.1% are unsure. 74.2% of Democrats agree that Buffet pays too little, along with 60.0% of Independents and 43.3% of Republicans. The majority (68.2%) of Voters also think taxing millionaires more is “good math” while 3 in 10 (31.8%) see it as “class warfare.” The majority of Voters in each party agrees with mathematics, but Republicans are the most divided: 50.2% say “good math” while 49.8% think “class warfare.”

More than half (58.4%) of Voters think taxing millionaires more will help stimulate growth in the economy. Democrats (75.6%) are most likely to agree, followed by Independents (55.2%) and Republicans (41.1%). 2 in 5 Voters (39.4%) think upping millionaires’ contributions will add jobs. 52.8% of Democrats, 35.0% of Independents and 27.3% of Republicans agree. However, 37.8% of Voters don’t think either will happen.

Other Key Findings Among Voters:

  •     70.6% would rather be told how they could help stimulate the economy while 29.4% would rather hear how bad the economy is. More Democrats (74.5%) would like to find out how to help.
  •     84.8% are somewhat or very concerned the poverty rate will continue to rise. 3 in 4 (75.3%) say the high poverty rate affects the community in which they live.
  •     23.6% say they use their credit card more this year vs. last year. Most (50.8%) do so in order to make ends meet while 35.9% use credit cards more in order to earn rewards or cash back.
  •     Top fall activities this year: Holiday shopping (52.3%), baking (41.6%) and Halloween parties (33.2%). Top fall financial splurges: Candy (35.9%), food for new fall recipes (24.1%) and fall décor (22.8%).

American Pulse™
The American Pulse™ Survey is collected online twice a month exclusively utilizing SSI’s U.S. panel covering topics such as politics, pop culture and the economy. 6,061 respondents participated in the 2nd September American Pulse conducted 9/27-9/28/2011. Margin of error is +/- 1.3%. http://www.biginsight.com

Survey Sampling International (SSI)
Bringing together Survey Sampling International and Opinionology, SSI is the premier global provider of world-leading sampling, data collection and data analytic solutions for survey research. SSI reaches respondents in 72 countries via Internet, telephone, mobile/wireless and mixed access offerings. Value-add services include questionnaire design consultation, programming and hosting, data processing and real-time reporting. SSI serves more than 2,000 clients, including the top 50 research organizations. It has 30 offices serving clients around the world.

BIGinsight™                         
Chrissy Wissinger                     
chrissy(at)biginsight(dot)com        
Randi Honkonen                            
randi(at)biginsight(dot)com
614.846.0146

SSI
Ilene Siegalovsky
Ilene_Siegalovsky(at)surveysampling(dot)com
203-567-7230

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