Public dissatisfaction with the tax system has grown over the past decade, and the focus of the public’s frustration is not how much they themselves pay, but rather the impression that wealthy people are not paying their fair share.

Nearly six-in-ten (57%) people believe the wealthy do not pay their fair share, but underlying that overall number is a sharp partisan divide. About three-quarters (73%) of Democrats say that what bothers them most is that the wealthy don’t pay their fair share; this compares to just 38% of Republicans who say the same. Independents side with the Democrats — 57% say the wealthy don’t pay their fair share of taxes.

However, Republicans are internally divided. About four-in-ten (43%) say that the complexity of the tax system is their biggest gripe, while 38% are bothered most by their perception that the wealthy don’t bear their fair share of the tax burden. Share of the tax load borne by the wealthy. Just 14% of Republicans point to the amount of taxes they pay as what bothers them most. There is unanimity among Tea party Republicans: 57% of this group point to the complexity of the tax system as the factor that bothers them most, compared to 22% who say the wealthy don’t pay their fair share. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.