Who likes taxes? Democrats, and no one else.

April 10, 2013

A clear majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of the federal income tax system, according to new Washington Post-ABC News polling. But, in a somewhat remarkable finding, a majority of Democrats view the tax system in a positive light while Republicans and Independents carry the exact opposite view.


Tax Day is right around the corner!

Fifty-three percent of self-identified Democrats in the Post-ABC survey view the income tax system favorably while 43 percent see it unfavorably. That's a stark contrast to the 66 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of independents who have an unfavorable opinion of the tax system.

What explains that massive disparity between Democrats and Republicans/Independents when it comes to the tax system?

Part of the answer may well be that Democrats are broadly supportive of the idea that government can and should collect taxes in order to provide services for the American public while Republicans and independents are more skeptical about giving money to the federal government to spend.

Another part may be that the tax question winds up being read by partisans as a broader test of their feelings about the federal government. Democrats, with President Obama in the White House, are more likely to feel favorably (or at least express a favorable opinion) about the government. Republicans are not.

Whatever the reason, the data is intriguing given that President Obama will release his budget proposal today even as the two parties continue to circle one another in the seemingly endless dance of how to solve (or at least address) the nation's debt problems.

Reforming the tax code has long been a priority for Republicans who insist it could reduce the deficit while averting a tax rate increase. But, at least according to these Post-ABC numbers, Democrats don't see the tax system as broken and may well put up a fight if and when their GOP rivals push tax reform over tax increases as a solution to the country's fiscal problems.

Weiner considering NYC mayoral run: Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, opened up to the New York Times Magazine for a cover story that was published Wednesday morning. The two discuss at length the scandal that brought his career down, and the onetime rising star says he's considering running for mayor of New York City, and has been polling to gauge his chances.

“I don’t have this burning, overriding desire to go out and run for office,” Weiner said in the interview. “It’s not the single animating force in my life as it was for quite some time. But I do recognize, to some degree, it’s now or maybe never for me, in terms of running for something." He added that his pollster, David Binder, informed him that he would be the underdog in "any race I ran."

Fixbits: 

The Senate will hold its first procedural gun control vote next week, and Democrats may end up with enough GOP support to stop a filibuster.

A bipartisan immigration bill is also expected in the next several days.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reacted to a leaked recording of a private campaign discussion by labeling it as the use of "Nixonian tactics."

Former congressman Mike Ross (D) will run for governor of Arkansas.

As expected, Democrat Robin Kelly won the special election in Illinois' 2nd congressional district.

The assistant White House chef faces a furlough because of sequestration.

Alabama is tightening its abortion laws.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) will make a decision about whether he will run for the Senate "within the near future."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) endorsed Mark Sanford in South Carolina's 1st district special election.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z's recent trip to Cuba was approved by the Treasury Department in advance.

Must-reads: 

"Obama’s 2014 budget plan to be delivered Wednesday — into a yawning political void" -- Lori Montgomery, Washington Post

"Michelle Obama to speak on gun violence, which could mean a more activist role" -- Philip Rucker and Krissah Thompson, Washington Post

"Top Senate Dems Face Decisions on Gun Curb push" -- Alan Fram, Associated Press

"For senators, immigration talk is local" -- Manu Raju and Anna Palmer, Politico

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Sean Sullivan | April 9, 2013