OPINION: Poll indicates more partisan fighting over taxes

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“A majority of Americans now view the federal tax system as unfair, including similar shares of Republicans and Democrats” according to a new 2017 poll from Pew Research.

The results of the poll indicate that Republicans and Democrats may be able to find enough bipartisan support to change the current tax system. Of the general public, about 70 percent say they are bothered at least “some” by the complexity of the current tax system, and when we look at partisan views, 49 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of Democrats say they are bothered “a lot” by the complexity of the current tax system.

Additionally, 54 percent say they pay the right amount in taxes while only 40 percent say they pay more in taxes than what they should.

While there may be some bipartisan agreements about the tax system, we will likely see partisan fighting over key points intensify.

The poll also found that 62 percent of the general public say they are “bothered a lot that some corporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes, and 60 percent say the same about some wealthy people not paying their fair share.” It would seem like there is enough support to address these issues, but there is a stark partisan gap in those views.

At least 75 percent of Democrats were bothered “a lot” by both issues, while less than 45 percent of Republicans were bothered “a lot.”

The partisan gap has increased since 2015, when 55 percent of Republicans were bothered “a lot” that corporations may not be paying their fair share in taxes and 49 percent were bothered “a lot” that wealthy people may not be paying their fair share. Democrats’ views, however, have changed little since 2015, as 70 percent were bothered “a lot” by both issues.

While there may be some bipartisan agreements about the tax system, we will likely see partisan fighting over key points only intensify over the following years, specifically over how much we tax the wealthy and large corporations. Let’s just hope Republicans don’t shut down the government like in 2013 and instead find a compromise with the Democrats.

Caleb Snider is a sophomore in public relations. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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