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. Pete

    So, now the new talking point is "all the Americans who don't pay any taxes".

    1. Are you suggesting that we should, say, raise taxes on the poor?

    2. Just how good do you think the poor really have it? Tell you what, quit your job, live paycheck to paycheck (if you get paid at all), live without health insurance, and raise some kids on top of that. Oh, yeah, the poor have it so much better than you.

    Really, what world do you Republicans live in?

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

    As long as he keeps robbing Paul to pay Peter....he will always have Peter's support. DUhhhhh

    April 15, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. Rachelraye49 - MD

    I've already seen a change in my pay due to my Federal taxes going down. And it has helped me tremendously. I wasn't expecting that much of a change. I don't understand this tea party rally. We Americans don't have any patience we want everything now. Give him a chance. To me he's doing almost everything that he said he would do while he was campaigning for the job. We gave our other President 8 years.

    April 15, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. rexx

    Congrats CNN you have once again shown your total love for the Left wing idiots in this country. 46% said their taxes were too high. So NO America is NOT embracing this clown and his tax policies. How come when BUSH was President all were heard about was how "little" he won by or how little approval of this or that if he had 48% on anything. 2012 is going to be fun and surprise a whole lot of Lefties.

    April 15, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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