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. ArtNYC

    40% in this country don't even pay fed taxes, so of course they're Ok with Obamas plan to tax everyone else. This goes to show how ridiculous the situation has become. People who don't pay taxes are forcing those who pay to pay more.

    April 15, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. James

    Obama mortgages our future to try make things better today and libs cheer because most of the money spent is going to unions and greens…dem voting base. It is this mentality that got most of us in trouble in the first place. I never thought I would wish that a Clinton was in office.

    April 15, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. daniel cabrera

    More talking!
    More speeches, that is all what it takes. More EMPTY PROMISES and the intersting thing is that this is going to work just as well as in the past when Obama did engulf the public in EMOTIONS and with the extra FRAUDULENT FACTORS and managed to ‘win’ the lections. However, the CREDIBILITY is fading away for AMERICA IS AWAKE NOW.
    So, the ENEMIES OF THE STATE are getting WORRY ( they had been for quite some times for since the very begining they knew where going to be UNMASKED at some point ), SO THEY ARE REALLY WORRY to the extreme that there is a ‘warning’ from HOME LAND SECURITY about ‘extremist right-wingers potential danger’,…now that is the cuspid of INSECURITY FOR THEY KNOW SO WELL THAT THEY ARE DOING WRONG TO THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA! Need I say more?,… this is TOTALITARIAN / DICTATORSHIP type of thing.
    And so we now have the expected OBAMA-GESTAPO / SS HITLER-STRUCTURE INQUISITION organization.
    Many said was only a ‘RIGHT-WING’ paranoid thing but now , as everyone can see is a REALITY !
    Thoughts anyone?

    April 15, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Mark

    Can CNN be any lazier with this story? It should at least be noted that 42% do not pay ANY federal taxes. Run a poll of people actually paying taxes and avoid creating a poll to support your story next time.

    April 15, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. The "Bleat" goes on

    A RE-BATE check for people that don't pay taxes is not lowering taxes, it is called WELFARE.

    Smoke and mirrors by Obama and you dumb as all hell sheep eat it up, maybe when you start getting 8-10 more dollars in your check (Obama supporters that actually work) and you wake up and contrast that with the TRILLIONS being wasted, you "might get it", but I doubt it.

    An Obama and company, I wish you had the guts to say to my face that I am an extremist that needs to be watched by the DHS, I really like to only be known as a Veteran, you never served a day in your life empty suit.

    April 15, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Cremer

    It's not the amount of taxes I'm paying (so far)... it's about government waste! Anyone who believes that these bloated, irresponsible and horrendously mismanaged bailouts aren't tied to taxes apparently thinks the Tooth Fairy is going to swoop in and save us from our National Debt.

    This isn't partisan folks – it's those idiots on Capitol Hill as a whole spending us all into oblivion!

    April 15, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Cali Girl

    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


    Have you stop to think that maybe 6% were undecided or didn't care either way? Hmm?

    April 15, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Chi Town

    david April 15th, 2009 2:52 pm ET

    "If you want a road built, prepare to pay taxes, fools. Aint nothing FREE is society"

    We don't have a problem paying our taxes... just don't feel we should have to pay yours!

    April 15, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. Cali Girl

    SA April 15th, 2009 2:53 pm ET

    It doesn't matter to Obama's staff they are exempt from paying taxes.
    Ask someone who pays taxes.
    I can't wait till he is out…..

    I pay taxes and I am in total agreement.

    April 15, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Funny that they are only asking about income taxes. The fact is that Obama has already raised or is planing to raise taxes on electric, gas, oil, gasoline, foods, cars, and the list goes on. The fact is that people are too dumb to see that what Obama has done is give you back $20 of your income but he is going to take $2000 in new taxes for goods. That means that the price of living will go up. The true test of what people think of his tax policy will be when the funds run out for the stimulus and now we either cut those jobs or make the tax payer pay for those jobs.

    April 15, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Unshrub


    You don't understand math very well, do you. 48% approve does not MEAN that 52% disapprove. There are those who don't care one way or the other. Maybe if you weren't so quick to jump on facts that don't agree with your narrow-minded-brain and take a little time to read the article you would learn a thing or two.

    April 15, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Dan Holiday

    I doubt the hundred of thousands of people at the nationwide T.E.A. parties are happy with Obama's tax schemes. I feel a little better now that I can turn on the t.v. and see that there are a ton of people out there that feel like me. Please check it out. They are having the anti-tax parties all over the country...if CNN isn't running coverage go to FOX for the best coverage. NO MORE TAXES ! ! !

    April 15, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Unshrub

    Here's another fact, over 50% of those who make over $250,000 voted FOR Obama.

    April 15, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Little too late????

    Looks like CNN has hit the exact same group of folks for EVERY OTHER POLL.

    Mix it up alittle, CNN. Your boring 'polls' with 'scientific results' are getting old, predictible and too hard to believe!!

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

    If a govt can give you everything it can also take away everything.

    April 15, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. mike

    Well stated Chi Town.

    April 15, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. The Voice

    Its funny the "tea party" is protesting to reverse the Bush tax cuts. That is what got us in this mess in the first place.

    Maybe they should be at a Texas ranch with their signs protesting.

    Those conservatives just don't get it. They are the ones to blame.

    April 15, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. William Charlotte, NC

    These protestors are not Republicans... they are RUSHlicans. They are uninformed robots that do as they are told by Rush, Newt the Grinch, Beck and Fannity. They live in fearful world filled with concocted conspiracies.

    April 15, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Cali Girl

    Obama Victim April 15th, 2009 3:08 pm ET

    this guy is one the best liars I have ever seen

    Hey Obama Victim,

    Don't you have a job or a tea party you need to go to?

    April 15, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. Cali Girl

    angrysob in VA April 15th, 2009 3:24 pm ET

    Taxcut for 95% of working class! Yeah – It amounts to a couple Happy Meals a week. That is if

    What did you expect fool? Total tax exemption?

    April 15, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. LisaB

    The Prez is smart and is doing the right thing. Face it he is just plain smart, smarter than you complainers and a dam sight smarter than Bush and the GOP all put together...Were you all complaing when Bush was spending on crap for the past 8 years?

    April 15, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. phoenix86

    Funny how yesterday Obama decried the past policies of Tax & Spend when only 30 days ago his policy was Tax & Spend.

    I guess CNN is still on Obama's payroll, I can't see another reason for the lack of objective criticism of this loon.

    April 15, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  23. The top 10%

    Pay 70% of the income taxes in this country. It's funny how this country can go around saying all we want is fairness and equality, yet demand others to pick up the slack that we don't want to take.

    The problems with this article/poll are:

    1. Only people making less than 75K... I guess those making more don't get to have an opinion on whether or not they pay too much?

    2. This was BUSH's tax rates, not Obama's, so why the heck is Obama getting the credit?

    3. 46% of people say they pay too much and it's a "thumbs up?"

    What sucks is that in my lifetime I'll be paying for the mistakes of the generation before me. So from a 22 year old who paid 30% of his income in taxes last year: you're friggin' welcome.

    April 15, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. President Obama could walk on water and the Party of NO would still complain that he left footprints!

    President Obama gave the electorate his vision of what he would do to change. We do not want leaders that only malign the government and try to starve it by lowering taxes without actually fixing it, we want someone that will FIX the government so the current tax dollars we spend will be spent efficiently. He is fulfilling his campaign promises made to the majority that voted for him, just as we would expect him to. Repubs call it big government, Dems call it caring.

    Maybe one day you neo-cons will get it.

    You neo-cons lost by 7% points 53% to 46% that was highest Dem majority since Carter.

    Stated another way you lost by 10 million votes.

    Said another way the electoral account was 362 Dems to 173 neo-cons.

    I am not sure how else to let you neo-cons know that we want you to STFU!

    April 15, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. phoenix86

    Dear MKN,

    Do some basic research before you spout off. Bush's largest deficit was $500 billion. Obama has tripled that in less than 100 days.

    Not much to be proud of.

    April 15, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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