Behold, the fruits of a decade of semi-annual tax cuts and around 22 years of swiss-cheesing the tax code. A ten-point majority of Americans say their taxes are too high, slightly more than believed that two years ago. But:
For all of the public's current dissatisfaction with the economy, with the direction of the United States, and with its leadership, Americans are fairly content with their federal tax obligation. According to Gallup's 2008 Economy and Personal Finance survey, conducted in April, 60% regard the amount of income tax they have to pay this year as "fair." Only 35% say it's not fair.
Additionally, more Americans believe "middle-income people"—a group most people are likely to associate themselves with—pay their "fair share" in federal taxes rather than "too much." By contrast, 51% believe lower-income Americans pay too much, while 63% believe upper-income people pay too little.
It's like I wrote back in March: The salience of the tax issue at the federal level is slumping. Americans are still irritated by taxes at the state level, but less so: You can finesse their frustration by making payment simpler and persuading them that their services are worth the cost. If this doesn't grant a mandate for Democrats to seize power and rates rates, it doesn't promise much political benefit for anti-tax Republicans, either. Not in the short term.