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Do You Pay the Taxes That Are Required of You?

Oct 28, 2023 By Triston Martin

More than 1,600 adults in the United States were asked this question as part of a poll that CBS News and YouGov conducted: "Do you believe that the amount of federal income tax that you pay is about right, that you pay more than your fair share, that you pay less than your fair share, or that the sum that you pay is about correct?"

47% of respondents, a majority, indicated they believe the price they are paying is "about appropriate." Meanwhile, 45% of respondents said they believe they are paying more than their equitable share. It's only fair to pay your fair share of taxes.

About one-fourth of respondents anticipate having a tax liability when they file their returns for the current year, in contrast to the vast majority of respondents who anticipate receiving tax refunds; this subset of respondents was significantly more likely to report feeling that they pay an excessive amount of taxes.

Another 8% of those who participated in the survey said they feel they are not paying their fair share of taxes. The percentage of male respondents who felt they were paying less than their fair share was higher (9%) than that of female respondents who felt the same way (7%). Age was another significant factor that came into play. Those under 30 were the demographic most likely to indicate they believe they are paying less than their fair share, with 19% of respondents falling into this category. There is also a trend pay your fair share of taxes Warren.

Politics, Taxes, and Fairness

Political ideology is perhaps the most important underlying element that influences how people feel about the tax system's fairness. 55% of those who self-identified as conservatives said they get the impression that they are paying more than appropriate, compared to 43% of moderates and 37% of liberals who stated the same thing. Interestingly, among moderates, the percentage of people who believe they pay less than a fair amount is the greatest of the three. In general, the results of this new survey about political divisions are consistent with the available historical data.

Since the 1950s, Gallup has followed Americans' opinions about their taxes. According to research conducted by the company, 58% of conservatives and 60% of Republicans believe that the income tax in their country is too high. On the other side, just 32% of those who identify as liberals and 39% of those who identify as Democrats would agree.

In 2021, fifty percent of all Americans said that the federal taxes they paid were too expensive, while fifty-five percent of People believed that the taxes they pay are "fair." According to Gallup, political opinions are more important than money, even though an individual's income determines how they perceive their tax burden to be. According to research published by Gallup in April 2021 that analyzed poll answers collected over the preceding ten years, individuals living in the United States who earned $150,000 or more were 9 percent more inclined to believe that the amount of money they paid in taxes was excessive.

What "Fair" Means

Defining fairness will always be difficult, a question that has tormented philosophers from Plato to Rawls. The field of economics provides a logical and, to some extent, unexpectedly convincing response to the question of what constitutes a reasonable level of taxation, which may not be immediately evident to an outsider. I am not claiming that the economic perspective of fairness is the definitive position, but I am saying that it is valuable.

Economists' fundamental challenge is striking a compromise between two opposing desiderata: equality and efficiency. We not only want the product of society to be divided fairly, but we also want society to make the most effective use of its resources as is humanly feasible. Occasionally it is possible to make adjustments to public policy that will improve both (known as a pareto improvement in economics jargon). Still, more frequently than not, particularly concerning the most intriguing policy concerns, policy decisions require making sacrifices.

It is possible to trace the desire for justice as opposed to efficiency back to the initial principles of utilitarianism, which are most often identified with the philosopher Jeremy Bentham from the 18th century. The purpose of society is to increase the total amount of well-being or utility that all of its members may achieve. It makes logical to desire to transfer income from the affluent to the poor because a poor person loves an amount of money, like one hundred dollars, more than a rich person does.

For instance, if I found a one-hundred-dollar note, I would be significantly more enthusiastic about it than Bill Gates. On the other hand, the issue of efficiency comes into play as a result of the fact that the higher the tax rate is, the less of an incentive there is to work, produce, develop, and create employment.

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