Teabaggers Out Of Touch
by Todd Beeton, Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 02:52:38 PM EDT
I'm sure it hasn't gone unnoticed that I've been blogging a lot lately about how out of touch the right-wing is with mainstream public opinion. There is a consensus in this country of support for our president as well as his agenda that is driven by the opinions of Democrats and Independents. Republicans are increasingly out of touch and dwindling in numbers and influence.
As we approach tax day on Wednesday, which is also the culmination of the great right wing "grassroots" Tea Party movement, Gallup has a new poll out that shows that the country is actually quite sanguine about the amount of taxes they are paying.
A new Gallup Poll finds 48% of Americans saying the amount of federal income taxes they pay is "about right," with 46% saying "too high" -- one of the most positive assessments Gallup has measured since 1956. Typically, a majority of Americans say their taxes are too high, and relatively few say their taxes are too low. [...]
The slightly more positive view this year may reflect a public response to President Barack Obama's economic stimulus and budget plans. He has promised not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $250,000, while cutting taxes for lower- and middle-income Americans. The latter has already begun, as the government has reduced the withholding amount for federal income taxes from middle- and lower-income American workers' paychecks.
Which pretty much begs the question: what exactly are the teabaggers protesting, exactly, the largest middle class tax cut in history? The irony (and tragedy) is that a lot of these tea bag parties are going to entail middle class folks throwing tea into some body of water presumably (?) in protest of a slight increase in taxes on only the wealthiest Americans, who are precisely the ones, through their perches at FoxNews and on talk radio, who are riling people up to go to the protests in the first place.
I think the larger point about where the country is on this issue is that there has been a shift in attitudes toward taxes over the past few years thanks largely to Bush. Let's face it, during the Bush years, there was a direct correlation between taxes being cut and services being cut; between the amount people were paying to the government and the competence and effectiveness of that government. These teabaggers can whine all day about the big bad government but the truth is people are willing to pay for good government service. The idea that government spending or raising taxes on the rich while cutting taxes on everyone else somehow limits freedoms is, as most views the rightwing holds, a radical minority view.