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« Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 52. | WILLisms.com | North Korea: U.S. Is Counterfeiting Its Own Money »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 314 -- The Morality Of Cheating On Taxes.

Taxes For Thee, But Not For Me-

Conservatives hate taxes. Liberals love them.

Conservatives admire Adam Smith and Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan. Liberals admire Karl Marx and Noam Chomsky and Che Guevara.

That's the dichotomy we all know and love.

To be a socialist, or not to be a socialist. That is the question.

But fiscal issues aren't everything in politics; there's also the question of ethics, morals, faith, and values.

When, in 2004, a fifth or so of exit poll respondents said they voted for President Bush because of morals/values (those 22% who said "moral values" was the most important issue of the election went 4-1 for Bush), some of them clearly meant faith in God. Others just chose the category because it was a vague category that generically covered a little bit of everything.

So which group is more likely to think it's morally wrong to cheat on your taxes? The group that hates taxes? Or the group that loves them?

Well, liberals are actually more likely than conservatives to say that not reporting all of your income on your taxes is not a moral issue (.pdf):


Interesting. And somewhat surprising. One might assume that more conservatives would believe it is actually a positive good to not pay the full amount in taxes, as a protest against big government leviathanism.

One might also assume that liberals believe it's not a moral issue to skirt paying taxes because they don't want to fund "Bush's war" or "global warming" or "inequality" or whatever other cause du jour is most urgent to the lefties at the moment. Well, one might be wrong.

If you look at responses on a variety of issues (.pdf), liberals are far less likely to take a stand on much of anything. On abortion, for example, a plurality of liberals say it's not a moral issue, one way or another.

Still, one can't help but wonder if some liberals (mega-wealthy ones like George Soros, for example) push for tax increases they never intend to pay personally, knowing all those "rich" conservatives will be good citizens and sticklers to the tax code.

Pew Center (.pdf).


Previous Trivia Tidbit: An artist and a commenter named Michael Tam are misleading you; here's the truth.

Posted by Will Franklin · 19 April 2006 02:08 PM


Will... Is it a little bit like how the Dems. cheat at election time? ...You know when the dead suddenly rise from their graves to vote?

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 19, 2006 03:40 PM

"Why should my private decision about cheating on my taxes be anyone else's business? That's an invasion of my privacy! These choices are between me and my... well, between me!"

Posted by: JohnJ at April 19, 2006 04:08 PM

John J...Do you get the IRS to agree with you?

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 19, 2006 04:56 PM

See, liberals love taxes, but not necessarily paying taxes . . .

Though the definition of liberal is a guy so generous he will give you the shirt off someone else's back.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at April 20, 2006 05:28 AM

Ah yes... all the preaching about "fair share" until it comes time for their share.

Posted by: Hoodlumman at April 20, 2006 08:29 AM

I haven't informed them of my private decision regarding my opinions as to what I actually earned last year. See, since the concept of wealth is all arbitrary anyways, I have to make certain mental adjustments in what I record as my income, in order to relate a more accurate, in my opinion, view of what my income actually was.
Besides, it's not like I'm stealing money from anyone. Okay maybe it is, but if no one knows about it, it didn't really happen! That's what my ex-wife always said, though she wouldn't elucidate.

Posted by: JohnJ at April 20, 2006 11:32 PM

Very interesting!... hmmmm.

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 21, 2006 12:28 PM