America

Not What You Thought: Americans On Taxes; Blacks On Gay Marriage

Dr. Patrick Wooden, senior pastor of the Upper Room Church of God In Christ in North Carolina, celebrates early returns that show strong support for Amendment One, which bans gay marriage in the state. i i

Dr. Patrick Wooden, senior pastor of the Upper Room Church of God In Christ in North Carolina, celebrates early returns that show strong support for Amendment One, which bans gay marriage in the state. Robert Willett/Raleigh News hide caption

itoggle caption Robert Willett/Raleigh News
Dr. Patrick Wooden, senior pastor of the Upper Room Church of God In Christ in North Carolina, celebrates early returns that show strong support for Amendment One, which bans gay marriage in the state.

Dr. Patrick Wooden, senior pastor of the Upper Room Church of God In Christ in North Carolina, celebrates early returns that show strong support for Amendment One, which bans gay marriage in the state.

Robert Willett/Raleigh News

We like when conventional wisdom is challenged. And during the past couple of days, we stumbled on two stories that challenged assumptions both the news media and Americans seem to make.

First, Reuters compares Americans to anorexics when it comes to taxes. Essentially, they say when Americans respond to polls, they see themselves as "fat with taxes." It's the one thing both political parties agree on. But taking a look in the global mirror, Americans are actually quite skinny.

Reuters reports:

"According to the International Monetary Fund, in 2011, among the world's 30 leading western economies (plus Japan), only in New Zealand and in Japan was government revenue a lower share of gross domestic product than in the United States. Countries like Australia, Estonia, Ireland and Switzerland, which tend to favor low taxes and a small state, have government revenue that accounts for more of G.D.P. than does the United States."

Another assumption that came into the spotlight when President Obama expressed his support for gay marriage, is that African Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to the concept. But a Washington Post/ABC News poll released yesterday finds that close to 6 in 10 blacks support gay marriage — higher than the half of the general population that supports it.

The Post explains:

"The poll also finds that 59 percent of African Americans say they support same-sex marriage, up from an average of 41 percent in polls leading up to Obama's announcement of his new position on the matter. Though statistically significant, it is a tentative result because of the relatively small sample of black voters in the poll."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.