Published April 13, 2012
Adding to the pain of tax day, a majority of American voters think the government spends their money less carefully these days.
That’s according to a Fox News poll released Friday.
While 15 percent of voters believe their tax dollars are spent more carefully today than five years ago, three and a half times as many -- 53 percent -- say the money is spent less carefully.
Twenty-nine percent think taxpayer dollars are spent just as carefully today as five years ago.
The poll was conducted about one week after a report found the General Services Administration inappropriately and excessively spent taxpayer dollars on a Las Vegas conference. Yet current views are almost identical to one year ago. At that time, 14 percent said more carefully, 49 percent less carefully (April 2011).
Most Republicans (80 percent) and over half of independents (56 percent) think the government spends their tax dollars less carefully than before. Some 26 percent of Democrats believe so.
Meanwhile, 54 percent of voters think their taxes are too high, while 43 percent say their tax bill is “about right.” Only 3 percent says their taxes are too low.
The new poll finds high-end earners and those living in lower-income households alike feel the taxes they pay are too high. Fifty-four percent of those living in households earning less than $50,000 annually think their taxes are too high, as do 54 percent of those in households earning $50,000 and over.
Republicans (62 percent) are much more likely than independents (57 percent) or Democrats (42 percent) to think the amount they pay Uncle Sam too much.
Voters who are part of the Tea Party movement are the most likely to feel their taxes are too high. Fully 75 percent say so.
A slim 51-percent majority of Democrats think the taxes they pay are about right, while 38 percent of independents and 37 percent of Republicans feel that way.
Six percent of Democrats say their tax bill is too low. That’s three times the number of independents (2 percent) and six times the number of Republicans (1 percent).
On this point, opinions are similar to previous years. For example, in 2004 some 51 percent said their taxes were too high, 44 percent said about right and 1 percent said too low.
Finally, despite displeasure with tax rates and how the money is spent, nearly four voters in 10 say they would pay higher taxes if all the money went toward paying down the national debt.
Democrats (43 percent) are more likely than independents (34 percent) and Republicans (33 percent) to say they would pay higher taxes to pay down the debt.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 910 randomly-chosen registered voters nationwide and is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from April 9 to April 11. For the total sample, it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.