State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
The nonpartisan Tax Foundation in Washington D.C. has just released the results of its 2009 nationwide survey on attitudes of American taxpayers. The survey was conducted between February 18 and 27, 2009 among 2,002 adults (aged 18 or older).
As part of the survey, taxpayers were asked if they would be willing, in order to balance the budget, to pay their share of the federal budget deficit. The last time the Tax Foundation conducted this survey during 2007, the figure was $1,789 per individual tax return. This year, due to the federal bailouts, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), stimulus spending and fiscal year 2009 omnibus spending bills, that figure has increased significantly, 392 percent, to $8,798 per individual tax return.
Care to guess what percentage of American taxpayers admitted they were willing to pay $8,798 in order to help balance the federal budget deficit? Try six percent with 81 percent unwilling, and 12 percent unsure.
The Tax Foundation asked those willing to pay $8,798 an additional question: “If you paid that extra $8,798 in additional taxes, how do you believe today’s Congress would use it?”
About half, 48 percent said the government would use the money to increase spending and not pay off the deficit, and 17 percent believed the government would use the money to pay off the entire deficit. About one-third, 32 percent thought the government would pay off a portion of the deficit and use the rest of the money to increase spending.
I am not surprised American taxpayers are unwilling to pay a huge chunk to fix the budget boondoggle Washington created and proliferated, and that they lack the confidence that Washington would fix the deficit even with the ability to do so.