A new Rasmussen poll indicates that 48 percent of likely voters disagree with a plan to pay for health reform by imposing a tax on people making $250,000 a year or more. Yet only less than 2 percent of Americans actually make that much. Not to mention that we know at least some prominent members of the 2 percent, including the President, not only support such as tax but are actively seeking to enact it. So, more than 46 percent of Americans oppose a tax that they would not pay. There are likely two selfish reasons why.
In part, Americans don’t trust the government’s assertions that taxing just the rich can pay for the program. The same poll 78 percent of voters think that it is “very/somewhat likely” that taxes on the middle class will rise to fund the program. The Obama administration has proposed previous taxes on those making above more than, $250,000, in particular to patch Social Security. AEI scholar Andrew Biggs argued that tax plan would fail to solve that programs finances, and Americans understand why.
The other likely solution is that Americans are aspirational and hope to become a part of the upper 2 percent one day. Some cynics argue, as poll during the 2000 election shows, that at least some Americans mistakenly place themselves higher in the income distribution than they belong. Yet even with such miscalculations Americans target the long haul. In the latest version of the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics , 23 percent of respondents expected that their children would have earnings "somewhat higher" than themselves, while 29 percent expect their children’s' top earnings to be "much higher" than themselves. Respondents don’t want to protect today’s rich, they want to ensure that they can become rich tomorrow.