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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.
"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."