Paying taxes, while hardly a joy, is less uniformly unpopular than is broadly assumed. (Ask Bob Dole, who ran and lost on a tax-cutting platform.) In recent polling, 58 percent of Americans say the federal income tax they pay is “about right” (vs. 36 percent too much), and 56 percent say the middle class in general is taxed appropriately (again vs. 36 percent too much).
Indeed polling has found majority support for taxes when put to good use, i.e., for programs that are popular or perceived as needed. Resistance occurs based on perceptions that the good use of tax revenue too rarely happens – that much instead is unneeded or wasted.
With the Supreme Court’s declaration that the ACA imposes a tax, the poltical debate turns to this: Whether or not it’s a tax worth paying.