Weekly Pulse Polling: Americans Have Very Little Idea of the Hidden Taxes They Pay on a Daily Basis

Press ReleaseFebruary 28, 2019

Washington, DC (February 28, 2019) – As Americans are filling out their state and federal income taxes, they are unaware of how much they are paying in hidden taxes in the things they purchase every day.

Only 4 percent of Americans know that 40 percent of the price of their beer is made up of different taxes, 57 percent of Americans underestimate the amount of tax that is included in the price of their airline tickets (about 20 percent of the cost), and only 20 percent of Americans knew that about 15 cents of every dollar they spend on their cell phone bill is taxes.

“While most working people are aware of the income taxes they pay, the government has lots of other hidden taxes they charge us every day,” said Elaine Parker, President of the Job Creators Network Foundation. “Every time you buy a plane ticket, pay your cable or cell phone bill, or even drink a beer, you’re handing even more money over to Uncle Sam.”   

Other poll questions showed American optimism about the job market continues to be strong, with 45 percent of people saying that companies in their area are more likely to be hiring new workers, vs 18 percent that say companies in their area are more likely to be laying people off.

While there is a slight decline in optimism about the entire economy, people are still extremely positive about job prospects,” said pollster Scott Rasmussen. “People are more than twice as likely to think companies in their area are hiring vs. laying off workers.”

Other polling questions this week included:

How would you rate the US economy today? Excellent (11%), Good (39%), Fair (33%), Poor (15%), Not sure (3%).

Is the economy getting better or worse? Better (33%), Worse (26%), About the same (36%), Not sure (5%).

Okay, how would you rate your own personal finances these days? Excellent (11%), Good (36%), Fair (33%), Poor (18%), Not sure (3%).

Are your personal finances getting better or worse? Better (30%), Worse (17%), About the same (51%), Not sure (2%).

Are companies in your area more likely to be hiring new workers or laying off existing workers? Hiring new workers (45%), Laying off existing workers (18%), Not sure (37%).

For historic data on these economic questions visit: JCNPulse.com

Download full crosstabs on all of this week’s questions:


This ScottRasmussen.com/HarrisX poll of 1,110 US adults was conducted Feb. 25-26, 2019. For more information about the Job Creators Network, please visit www.JobCreatorsNetwork.com.