In the budget battles: Are you feeling overtaxed? is the traditional deadline for filing federal income tax returns (though this year it’s extended to Monday.) As you sign your return, will you feel overtaxed? Will you feel you’re paying more than your fair share?

Almost two in three Americans feel our nation is overtaxed, according to a new poll by Rasmussen Reports. Republicans and Democrats see this in wildly different ways. Only 43% of Democrats feel the nation is overtaxed, while twice as many Republicans (84%) perceive an overburden.

Surprisingly, rich and poor Americans see the issue the same way. About two-thirds of Americans making under $20,000 a year say the nation is overtaxed—as do Americans making $100,000 a year or more. The rich group includes those who will be seeing their taxes increased, if Obama’s proposal to end the Bush-era tax cuts becomes a reality. As we discussed yesterday, he wants a $1 increase in taxes for every $3 in cost cuts.

The budget battles we’ve discussed this week are far from over. They represent a continuing clash of value priorities and visions about America. This week, Political commentator Jack Lessenberry calls the budget battle in the State of Michigan a clash of two philosophies: “soaking the rich” versus “soaking the poor.” Hyperbole, yes, but Lessenberry exaggerations make a strong point.

Where do you come out in the budget battles?

What are your priorities?

Do you see any signs of hope in state or federal proposals nationwide?

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(Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.)

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