According to a new Gallup poll, Americans on average say that the federal government wastes 51 cents of every tax dollar, the highest level ever recorded since the poll was first taken in 1979. It’s also the first time that those surveyed on average said a majority of federal government money was wasted.
The poll results, based on a survey of over a thousand adults in early September, were released out the same day as President Barack Obama announced a plan to reduce the federal deficitthrough $1.5 trillion in tax hikes aimed at the country’s wealthier citizens.
Republicans have criticized the plan, arguing for cuts in federal spending over tax increases. Obama officials are confident nonetheless that the added tax dollars can help the American economy. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner defended the tax increases on Bloomberg television as a viable means to sustain short-term growth.
But convincing Republicans won’t be easy. Indeed, 95 percent of Republicans in Congress have signed a pledge known as the ”Taxpayer Protection Pledge” to “oppose any and all tax increases,” according to The Miami Herald.
Despite the divide in congress, Gallup’s poll on predicted government waste doesn’t divide so firmly down party lines. On average, Republicans say that the government wasted 52 cents of every dollar. Democrats aren’t far behind, they themselves guessing 47 cents is wasted.
The poll results reinforce earlier surveys that found Americans place a greater degree of trust in state and local governments than they do the federal government. Those surveyed said that state and local governments waste only 42 cents and 38 cents, respectively.
Perhaps affecting the results is a gloomier view of the economy more generally. Overall, Americans are more pessimistic about the economy than they were in July, and it’s now the wealthy that are possess the gloomiest view of all, another recent Gallup poll found.
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Category: Business/ Economy
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