The IRS: Opinions over time

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Protesters rally in front of local IRS office in Pensacola, Fla., on May 21, 2013, in response to news that conservative groups like the Tea Party were harassed by IRS officials.

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This month’s issue of AEI’s Political Report delves into the latest public opinions on a range of must-watch topics, from scandals to Supreme Court deliberations to how Americans feel they will fare under the health care law.

  • According to a May poll by ABC and The Washington Post, 56 percent of Americans believe that there has been a deliberate effort to harass conservative groups by putting their tax status through extra scrutiny. At the same time, a Quinnipiac University poll finds that Americans are not sure where to place the blame: forty-five percent believe that civil service employees at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are responsible for the targeting of conservative groups, while 35 percent say the decision was made by the Obama administration.

 

  • Americans are largely pleased with their experiences with the IRS — in a recent survey, around 75 percent reported that they are either very or somewhat satisfied with their personal interactions with the IRS.

 

  • Older Americans are becoming increasingly accepting of same-sex relations. According to a May Gallup poll, 51 percent of Americans who are 55 and older said they believed that gay and lesbian relations are morally acceptable. By comparison, only 27 percent of this age cohort gave that response in 2001.

 

  • In a new Public Religion Research Institute poll, nearly 7 in 10 Americans “favor programs which make special efforts to help blacks and other minorities get ahead.” However, only about 3 in 10 say that blacks and minorities should get special preferences in college admissions.

 

  • Americans are generally opposed to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. An April poll by CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation finds that 43 percent of Americans support the health care law, while 54 percent oppose it.

 

  • Would you accept an all-expenses-paid vacation to North Korea if it were offered to you? About a quarter of Americans say they would, because “it would be a unique and remarkable experience,” according to a March poll by CBS and Vanity Fair magazine. Sixty-eight percent say you would have to be “crazy” to visit North Korea.

 

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