Tags Posts tagged with "Public Opinion Polling"

Public Opinion Polling

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By Randy Krehbiel World Staff Writer

Oklahomans seem to be of two minds about Woody Guthrie.

They either like him, or they never heard of him.

Responding to a recent SoonerPoll.com survey, 52 percent of the 500 Oklahomans questioned said they have a favorable opinion of the Depression Era troubadour – but 41 percent had no opinion or didn’t know who Guthrie was.

Stanton Doyle, a senior program officer with the George Kaiser Family Foundation, which is developing a Guthrie museum and archive in the Brady Arts District, said the first figure is “consistent with the feedback we get,” and the second is “a great opportunity” to introduce Guthrie to a new audience.

Born in 1912 in Okemah, Guthrie became an itinerant laborer and folk singer whose songs about the poor and working class made him a hero to many, while his unorthodox lifestyle and leftist politics turned many Oklahomans against him.

For decades, Okemah refused to acknowledge Guthrie, and he was not inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame until 2006.

Read the rest of this article at www.tulsaworld.com

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According to a poll taken by Sooner Poll in late November/early December, Oklahomans favor a flat tax over the current state personal income tax system. Nearly sixty percent of likely voters polled said they preferred just one marginal rate. Voters registered Republican preferred simplifying the system over those registered Democrat and Independent.

The state income tax has been at the forefront of Governor Fallin and the Oklahoma Republican legislature agenda for the upcoming 2012 session. They want to eliminate the state income tax over an extended period of time- something like 10 years. They claim by letting Oklahoma private citizens keep that money, it will grow the tax base and revenue to Oklahoma state government would not suffer. Much of their conclusions are based on the ‘Laffer curve’ and economic projections from the Oklahoma conservative think tank- OCPA.

First, I am not against reforming or even elimination of the Oklahoma state personal income tax. However, the Governor and the legislature should use this opportunity to take a two pronged approach. Phase out the income tax and trim government by the same amount. Deal with both sides of the ledger. We know Oklahoma has too many state employees. Make strategic surgical cuts to Oklahoma government- not across the board cuts. Some state agencies need more funding, some need to be cut back or completed eliminated.

Second, the talk of a Flat Tax implies the Oklahoma personal income tax is not going away, but is just going to be reformed. A flat tax is a far better and fairer system of taxation than any other. Everyone pays the same percentage, so as your income increases you pay the same percentage. If that system (the tithe) is good enough for a sovereign creator, it should be good enough for Oklahoma state government. But going to a Flat Tax is not what the Governor and legislature are talking about- they are talking about phasing out the state income tax completely.

Third, currently Oklahoma’s personal income tax system is unfair, but we know it exists- it’s the devil we know. When Oklahoma state government starts talking about eliminating the income tax- over twenty percent of state government’s income stream- it causes me to worry about where they plan to make up the shortfall if the Laffer curve projections fail. I believe in supply side economics and the projections may come to past, but if they don’t where will they hide the taxes and fees to make up the shortfall?

Until I see the details, I am skeptical of revamping, reforming, eliminating the state income tax. Oklahoma Republican leaders should not miss a golden opportunity to put forward a ten year plan to streamline Oklahoma government and reduce taxation at the same time.

Steve Fair is a guest political analyst and commentator at SoonerPoll.com.  Steve is Chairman of the 4th district of the Oklahoma Republican Party and the author of  the popular blog Fair and Biased.

 

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Most likely Oklahoma voters say the current tax system is unfair and just over half say they would prefer a flat tax system with one marginal rate, according to a SoonerPoll survey.

When asked if the income tax system currently used by the state and federal government is fair or unfair, 59 percent of respondents said unfair and 34.2 percent said fair.

A 50.4 percent majority prefer a tax system that imposes the same tax rate on all taxpayers by taking the same percentage of income from everyone regardless of how much an individual earns.

By comparison, 40.2 percent said they prefer the kind of tax system currently used in the United States, which imposes a higher tax rate on those with higher incomes.

“It just makes sense that if you’re going to have a tax, everyone should pay the same rate,” Jonathan Small, Fiscal Policy Director at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, said. “Sales taxes, property taxes, fuel taxes, and a host of other taxes are not based on income. The concept of a flat rate is present in almost every other area of life.”

See Complete Data and Analysis

Results indicate that 53.6 percent of respondents that said the current tax system is unfair also prefer the flat tax, while 37.4 percent still prefer a progressive tax system.

Over the past several months, many Republican presidential primary candidates have embraced flat tax plans as part of their campaign.  Candidates who embrace the flat tax often face criticism from those who say a single marginal tax on all Americans would adversely affect lower income Americans.

Despite the criticism, results indicate that 46.9 percent plurality of likely Oklahoma voters who make less than $35,000 a year prefer the flat tax to the progressive tax system.  By comparison, 54.3 percent of respondents that make $100,000 a year or more prefer the flat tax.

“No one wants everything they do judged by their income,” Small said.  “What will really help all Oklahomans is having more of their own income to spend, produce jobs, and charitably give as they see fit.”

Additional crosstab analysis reveals that a majority of all parties think the current tax system is unfair.  When examined by political label, the results reveal that a plurality of liberals and a majority of both moderates and conservatives agree that the current income tax system is unfair.

Results also indicate that a 59.1 percent majority of Republicans prefer the flat tax, while a 58.6 percent majority of Independents and a 47.1 percent plurality of Democrats prefer a progressive tax.

A 57.3 percent majority of liberals and a 53.2 percent majority of moderates prefer a progressive income tax, while a 59.7 percent majority of conservatives prefer a flat tax system.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, commissioned and conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 512 likely voters from Nov. 17 – Dec. 6. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.3 percent.

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