A recent CBS News/New York Times poll has the White House scratching its head. Americans were asked, “In general, do you think the Obama Administration has increased taxes for most Americans, decreased taxes for most Americans or have they kept taxes the same for most Americans?”

More than half of all those surveyed said that taxes were kept the same. Nearly a quarter said that taxes had been increased. Just over 10% answered that taxes had decreased, about the same as those who said they didn’t know.

The Obama administration claims that taxes have been cut for most Americans. In his State of the Union address, he touted tax cuts, claiming that most working families got a break. Most Americans don’t think so, however.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, remarking on the findings, said, “I’d say they called the wrong people.” That, of course, makes me curious. So, I’m running the poll on my site with the same question. Let’s see if the answer is much different:

And check back tomorrow for my opinion about the findings from the initial poll… My take is a little different than what CBS had to say.

Last Updated on


Kelly Erb is a tax attorney and tax writer.


  1. I vote that most Americans are ignorant of how much they actually pay in taxes.

  2. Can I write-in vote that money is being removed from our pockets by stealth–by heavy borrowing that will drive up interest rates & inflation? Although certain taxes may have been slightly reduced for certain groups for a short period of time, the American people see past that & understand that our overall tax burden won’t be improving any during the current administration. When the Bush tax cuts expire, rates will increase for the middle-class, not just the $250K-plus earners.

  3. CherryBlossom Reply

    I write the payroll checks so yes I believe the taxes are going up for everyone. Someone needs to tell RG he needs to get a brain.

  4. CherryBlossom Reply

    I write the payroll checks so yes I believe our taxes are going up along with all other items. The dollar value receding at an alarming rate and more and more people on welfare. Our bread lines at our church have doubled. Robert needs to get a better line to problems for this administration. Where did he suggest the question should be asked?

  5. The tax rates didn’t change. Some people got a tax credit that happened through decreased withholding and an extra $250 social security payment. I go with the no change folks – a one time small credit is not a tax decrease.

  6. I would say that most citizens don’t understand the relationship between taxes and government services. With the lousy economy, more and more people are turning to government for help with housing, food, social services, etc. They all have to be paid for and taxes are how it’s done. If the citizenry continues to expect government to provide more and more services…then, duh, taxes will have to go up. We can’t keep turning to the government for our every need…and then cry about how high our taxes are.

  7. If you listen to most Republican politicians with their twisted inside-out logic, then any lack of a tax increase should be considered a tax CUT.

    And since Obama has so far not done the middle class tax INCREASE that McCain promised to do, I guess we can say Obama “cut” taxes. (As every careful, attentive voter SHOULD know, McCain promised on his website and in the second debate to “get all Reagan” on us, and RAISE SocSec taxes (which the rich don’t fully pay), lower future benefits, and increase the retirement age, so he could use the savings to preserve the tax cuts for the RICHEST americans.)

    Talk about wealth redistribution.

  8. Shawn Fahrer Reply

    Federal taxes may have stayed the same– but State and Local taxes (like sales taxes) have increased, so people are actually WORSE OFF….

    As for Gibbs, he’s just a political hack that has been clutching to Obama’s shirt tails since 2004, when a friend of his got cast off by John Kerry and he left in a huff. Then he went after Howard Dean, before Obama let him aboard his Senate campaign (and sort of became “Obama’s brain”–similarly to Karl Rove being “Bush’s brain”, that is). His ability to burn bridges (sort of like I did when I resigned my job to retire on “early out”) may not make him suited to be a “communications director”– maybe he, like I, should be frustrated samurai warriors….

  9. ComeToMeToGetYourHandout Reply

    I love it when people try to move the argument, and fail.

    We were talking about Obama. Obama raised state and local taxes??? I THINK NOT.

    Local taxes are going up because the housing market crashed. State taxes, if any are actually going up, are going up because Bush crashed federal subsidies in favor of a Iraq war for profit. Both are also impacted by pension obligations due to the low interest rates, in turn caused by the near-depression Obama inherited, plus stealth-inflation in various areas caused by many things, including the war-for-profit and making the oil and coal companies rich for eight years with no heed to energy independence.

  10. Being in lower middle class, I can say my taxes were down. It was the deduction for real estate taxes that did it. 15% of $1000 = $150. I believe that a lot of votes on this poll are based more on rumors and such that are prevalent on the internet.

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