Fiscal Cliff Blame Game Polling, and Historical Tax Rates vs Economic Prosperity

by gradycarter

Public opinion is often not the most accurate predictor of truth or fairness in my opinion (see civil rights), however public opinion matters in a democracy. I first want to show a chart that I came across which tells a story that people seem to not recognize in a public consciousness. Over the last century the highest tax rate has change significantly many times, but the actual marginal rate that the people categorized as members of those highest tax brackets haven’t necessarily changed quite so much, mostly due to loopholes in the tax code. This chart however tells a story of the economy in relation to those high end tax rates changing, and I’m posting it to say that speaking of higher taxes doesn’t kill the economy as it is said to, but there is undoubtably a threshold, and we must approach this conversation with an understanding of nuance.


With this chart out of the way, and the debate over taxes still raging let’s examine public opinion of who people seem to hold most responsible.


So, it seems that in political terms that the President has an upper hand right now, but the before they start to do some kind of victory dance we should also note that people still seem to believe that they won’t make a deal…


I share, to a degree, some level of skepticism over whether or not they’ll pass a deal (even if that means after January 1st), but I tend to believe that we are witnessing theatrics. I think that as our nation is so polarized the people expect a fight, and anyone not seeming to put up a fight risks losing support from their base. I might be overly naive, but I really hope this is the case…