Two out of three Americans surveyed tell the Hill the middle class is shrinking, and they’ve got some ideas about what’s gone wrong:
Close to 7 in 10 said the income tax system is either somewhat or very unfair — a finding that was supported among most ideological groups and income levels.
But voters are also far from convinced that a flat tax — like the one Texas Gov. RickPerry (R) proposed last week — was the solution to that problem.
A clear majority — 58 percent — said they favored a graduated income tax system, with only 35 percent backing the sort of flat tax that magazine publisher Steve Forbes pushed for during his 1996 presidential campaign.
But here’s the disjunct: Voters appear to be split almost exactly between the two parties when it comes to taxes. Democrats are pushing higher taxes for the rich and breaks for everyone else. Republicans are pushing a regressive flat tax, tax breaks for the wealthy and an end to tax breaks for working families. The choice is stark, but somehow it’s not clear.