Conventional wisdom holds that Americans hate taxes, but new research suggests that they actually view taxpaying as a moral obligation and civic duty. However, Americans also worry that others are shirking their tax responsibilities, in part because the tax system’s complexity perpetuates skepticism and misinformation about who pays and how much. How do Americans really feel about taxes? What are the real and perceived failures of the current tax system? And what can be done to change the perception of taxpaying in America?
On April 4, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted an event marking the release of “Read My Lips: Why Americans are Proud to Pay Taxes” by Vanessa Williamson. A panel of experts discussed how Americans view their responsibility as taxpayers and what Americans’ attitudes about taxes can tell us about public opinions of government as a whole.
After the session, panelists will take audience questions. Join the conversation on Twitter at #Taxes or @BrookingsGov