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Americans like IRS more than Sarah Palin

Honestly! Those are the findings of recent surveys, one done for Fox News, the other for CBS News.

Irs building sign The polls, notes David Cay Johnston in his Johnston's Take column in Tax Analysts' Tax Notes Today, were conducted "shortly before the dreaded tax day, a fact that may have influenced the results given the focus that politicians, and thus the news media, give to taxes and the IRS from March to the ides of April."

Whatever the timing, the Johnston looked at the figures from both polls and reports:

Last place in favorable impressions goes to the former governor of Alaska. Fewer than one in four Americans view her favorably. Next up, with a 36 percent favorability rating, is the tea party movement. Leading the pack by a large margin is the IRS, with an approval rating of 49 percent.

Johnston elaborates on who and what else is popular and not in his commentary, available to Tax Analysts subscribers. If you don't get the publication, the TaxProf Blog has a bit more on the poll findings.

You can like or dislike, agree or disagree or concur with Mark Twain's famous observation that figures don't lie but liars figure.

I, however, am going to hope that Johnston is correct in saying that "the public evidently gets that the IRS is only the tax police, enforcing the law Congress makes."

While the agency does have its share of problems in implementing tax laws, if you want to complain about taxes, do so to the people who right the laws. And preferably let them know before, not after, they vote.

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Comments

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Shane Eloe

The approval rating of 49% seems to be awfully close to the percentage of Americans that either pay no income taxes, or receive more back than they paid in... Is this just an odd coincidence?

Kay

That's the beauty of this country -- opinions on varying topics aren't mutually exclusive! ;-)

Jeffrey A Day

I have nothing but high respect for those with the IRS in the Evansville, IN area. Have represented several in various audit capacities.

However, I also have high respect and admiration for Sara Palin.

Guess that makes me in the to 25% of the population

Jeff Day EA
Evansville, IN

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