Americans feel overtaxed, but reject anti-tax pledge

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Americans feel overtaxed but are split on supporting a candidate who signed an anti-tax pledge, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll. Yet when pressed to reveal if their House member has signed such a pledge, a majority didn't have a clue.

The latest poll demonstrates just how confused the nation is over the ongoing fiscal cliff talks over taxes and the conflicting views that they don't want to pay more taxes but want their representative to be open-minded enough to consider imposing higher taxes.

According to the new poll, 46 percent of likely voters believe the country is overtaxed. Some 42 percent don't.

Still, they seem confused. When it comes time to fixing the fiscal cliff, 53 percent said they would support a plan that had equal amounts of taxes and spending cuts. And when choosing between House candidates who have or haven't signed an anti-tax pledge like the one put forward by Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, 41 percent would choose the one who didn't sign it, 40 percent want their candidate to back it. In the poll, Democrats shunned the anti-tax pledge, and Republicans indicated it was a requirement to winning their vote.

But when asked if their House member was a pledge signer, just 21 percent said yes, 27 percent said no, and 52 percent said "not sure."

Norquest said that the poll was good news for his pledge. "The power of the pledge comes from public opinion that their taxes are too high." He also said that the strong, 60 percent, support for the pledge among Republicans--his target--proves his effort matters.