Evangelicals to Wealthy: Pay Your Fair Share in Taxes
The political debate around taxes has undergone a paradigm shift. Instead of the Tea Party-driven argument over taxes as “theft” from the successful, the discussion has increasingly focused on questions of responsibility and fairness. The agitation of the 99% Movement and the obstinacy of Wall Street banks handing out huge bonuses despite wrecking the economy are just two of the causes behind this transformation.
With the conversation revolving around fairness, elected officials and pundits defending policies that benefit the wealthy at the expense of everyday Americans look increasingly extreme. As evidence, a recent Pew Research Center for People & the Press poll found that 53% of evangelicals believe the current tax system is unfair. Perhaps most intriguing, when white evangelicals were asked “What bothers you most about taxes?” and given the choice of their own tax burden, the complexity of the tax system, or the wealthy not paying their fair share, nearly half of respondents were most upset with the wealthy not paying their faith share.
These findings follow other recent polls showing evangelicals support increased taxes on the wealthy, further belying the myth that evangelicals are ardent economic conservatives. Those busy supporting the status quo and defending the policies that caused the economic crisis must be feeling increasingly isolated.