April 15th, 2009
02:49 PM ET
14 years ago

Americans give Obama thumbs up on taxes

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It's tax deadline day, and activists are holding events nationwide protesting their federal tax burden and the government's spending policy. But are most Americans angry about the taxes they pay?

A national Gallup poll conducted last week finds that 48 percent of Americans say the amount of federal income taxes they pay is about right. That's two points higher than the forty-six percent of those questioned who felt that the taxes they pay were too high. It's also the most positive assessment on taxes that Gallup's measured in six years.

"Most of the movement in the Gallup poll came among people who make less than $75,000 a year," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "A majority of people in that category say their taxes are not too high, and they are the ones that the Obama administration has been targeting with their tax policy and their message on taxes. Maybe that message is being heard."

Conservative protesters gathering at more than 300 organized "tea party" demonstrations across the country say they are steamed at President Obama and the massive government spending that has occurred since he took over at the White House, and that Washington takes too much from their pocketbooks and wallets.

Meanwhile, Obama Wednesday touted his tax cut for 95 percent of working class Americans, courtesy of his stimulus package that Congress passed and the President signed into law. Obama also said at a White House event that he's working toward "a simpler tax code that rewards work and the pursuit of the American dream."

Recent polling also suggests that a majority of Americans are giving the president a thumbs up when it comes to taxes. Sixty-two percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national survey conducted last month said they approve of how Obama is handling taxes. Thirty-seven percent disapproved.

That same poll also indicates that taxes are not the top economic concern. Only 11 percent said that taxes were the most important economic issue facing the country, trailing unemployment at 36 percent, inflation at 20 percent, the mortgage crisis at 16 percent and the stock market at 14 percent.

While Americans seem to like what the president's doing on taxes, it seems they might not be so happy with his $787 billion stimulus package and the $700 billion in taxpayer money being used to bailout financial institutions. In the CNN survey, support for the stimulus dropped from 60 percent in February to 54 percent last month. And most national polls show that the vast majority of Americans are not happy with the bailout.

"Whatever anger exists against Obama's track record so far comes when we ask about government assistance to big banks and big businesses," Holland says. "Americans don't mind assistance to individuals, such as people who may lose their homes, but aid for big institutions is not very popular today."

Filed under: President Obama • Taxes
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. b franklin

    What a shock! The people who pay the least tax esare OK paying the least taxes. On by a whole 2 percentage points.
    If that is a thumbs up, what would Mr Steinhausen have called a 4% spread.
    "Tax payers OVERWHELMINGLY support Obama Tax policy"
    The writer is only missing only the skirt and pom-poms when writing about the President.

    April 15, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Kitty

    Obama is all about spending!!! Guess who is paying for his spending???? ME & YOU and it certainly isn't Pelosi or Reid!!!!

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If we are cutting back in our homes – and tightening our belts it certainly isn't to give money to OBAMA's administration!!! What happen to family first????

    April 15, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. ninny

    Nobody went to the Republican Tea Party....ha ha ha ha ha!!!

    April 15, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. matt

    That's because that 48% don't pay any income taxes!! They get it all back.

    April 15, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. John in Ohio

    The teabaggers are idiots.

    April 15, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. Enlightened Voter

    I give the President a thumbs up on just about everything except leave those rethuglicans alone, they don't care about this country nor the middle class so don't waist your time with them Mr. President.

    April 15, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. disgusted

    I saw footage of these protests in my state and it was an anti-Obama rally, period. These people are not fooling anybody.

    April 15, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Reatte Beaumont, Texas

    That's funny how 48 percent of the people that they ask said they were happy about the amount they pay in taxes. The people that I have talked with are not happy and have not been happy for quite a few years about their taxes and that goes back about 30 years. I guess the ones that they ask were the ones that don't pay taxes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Got to love the polls talk to the people that pay taxes and then put it on the site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is the funniest thing that I have ever heard

    April 15, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. Jim

    It's a shame he's lying about who he'll tax.

    April 15, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. JD

    Please find these suckers who think their taxes are "about right" and add a portion of my tax bill to theirs. Uncle Sam will still be able to suck the life out of someone else's livelihood and these tax-loving chowderheads will get an additional "about right" dose of their own medicine.

    I see nothing right, fair or "patriotic" about having my pocket picked to fund a bunch of Marxist projects that run directly counter to the American Way of Life.

    April 15, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Terry

    Attention Freeloaders, the Free Lunch Crowd, Slackers, and Goof-offs: Paying taxes is the way we keep our society running, our infrastructure in good repair, our kids healthy, our schools functioning, and our police departments helping us.

    You bums who imagine that you should be exempt from taxation even though this society is providing you with the opportunity for a good, prosperous life need to spend some time looking in the mirror.

    April 15, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. Ryan

    Faux News was quoted as expecting thousands of people at some park in Chicago to demonstrate the "tea bag the white house" thing (god, that whole idea is hilarious in nuance) and when they panned the camera's over you saw two tents...a few people...and a lot of homeless people that just live in the park anyway.

    I love my new tax break personally so I have very little to complain about.

    April 15, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. dumbocrat alert

    B.O is full of B.S. and his empire will collapse soon.

    April 15, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Enlightened Voter

    SA – he just got in, why don't you give our president a chance before you decide you hate him. Or do you just hate to hate?

    April 15, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Bill in California

    I HAVEN'T DECIDED where to invest all that extra money in my paycheck from the benevolent hand of the MASTER MAGICIAN. With one hand he's handing you a few pennies while reaching behind you to pull the bills out of your back pocket.

    April 15, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. peter

    Since up to 40% of Americans pay little to no tax at all, I wonder where most of that 48% approval comes from? DUH!!!

    April 15, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. Mark

    Obama the Great Manioulator. Do people not understand tax manipulation strategy? Let's take a look at tobacco. Almost 40% of Individuals making less than $32,000 a year smoke, while less than 19% of Individuals making more than $48,000 a year smoke. Seeing that the price of a single pack of cigarettes was increased $1 by the obama administration is not suprising. Obama will get his agenda pushed through at the expense of lower income families, it just might be incognito. This means, the average individuals who smokes and makes less than $32,000 a year will spend $700 more (average) to smoke the same amount of packs they smoked last year. THIS IS A LOWER INCOME TAX INCREASE – liberals just won't admit it...

    April 15, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  18. obama/mama

    Go Obama

    April 15, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. obambi

    go to any other blog than CNN (who covers Obama's behind with their liberal polls) and you will find an entirely different take on Obama. I can't believe even libs are still supporting his lies and smooth talk speeches made up for him by someone else.

    April 15, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Independant in Indiana

    Mobius April 15th, 2009 2:52 pm ET

    SLANT much, CNN? C'mon.

    48% approve means 52% do not approve.

    At what liberal college did you take advanced math?

    You had a choice for the article title. You lose more and more credibility every day.

    Um you realize of course that 46% dont and the missing percent is people that have no opinion on the matter. First time reading a poll?

    April 15, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. Observant

    I, for one did not give and DO NOT GIVE a thumbs up to Obama on taxes. In fact, I mailed in my tea bag. And before, I am accused of being a disgunted Republican, you should know that I am an Independent and was a Democrat for over 35 yrs. But, above all, I am an American. I am fed up with paying taxes to support Congress and the Senate, bailing out banks, big businesses (auto, insurance, etc).

    If anyone believes that taxes are not going to increase even more, then to you I say, " They have certainly done a great job in dumbing down America". There is nothing in this stimulus plan that is beneficial to me or to anyone I know. The nearly 800 billion, should have been disbursed to the people, then the government would have gotten back over 30% of it through taxes.

    You do not have to be party affiliation to know when you are being taken. Keep your eyes open, watch your money and vote accordingly.

    April 15, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. mkn

    Reality Check:
    The man has been in office less than 3 months why are you mad at him. The people who ran things for 8 years and NEVER ONCE COMPLAINED ABOUT HOW MUCH DEBT BUSH WAS RUNNING UP are the people you should be asking for help and holding accountable.

    April 15, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. Chris

    Somebody tell the tea-baggers their vituperous protestations are falling on deaf ears. Laissez-fair failed. Trickle-down failed. Good thing the grown ups are back in charge.

    April 15, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Uchman

    I am seeing the TAX CUT Obama promised in my paycheck. I federal income tax has greatly reduced. and I hope this is made permanent. I do not understand this so called TEA Party protesting taxes.

    April 15, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. Mark

    To Alex who said: Since I'm not super-rich, I'll get a tax cut under Obama. So I like him. That's all there is to it.

    Do you not remember Bush gave every individual $600 and joint filers $1,200??? I swear, some people do not think before they speak...

    April 15, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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