The survey is here but asked only two questions:
Who should help the poor? Only people whose income puts them in the following categories should be taxed extra to help the poor.
Who do you consider poor? Only people whose income would put them in the following categories should receive income help from richer citizens.
I got 22 responses to the survey. Two (9%) self-identified as conservatives, two (9%) as libertarian, three (14%) as moderates and 15 (68%) as liberals.
Now some data. (Household income calculated from here.) Here is the minimum amount your household would have to make to land in the top [1%, 10%, 20%, etc.] $140,000, for example, means that you are in the top 10% of American households (or, of course, making more than 90% of American households.)
One person (5%) thought that no one should be taxed to help the poor. One of my respondents (5%) thought household income should be higher than $383,000 before paying a special tax to help the poor. Most respondents (7, or 32%) thought that any household making more than $40,000 should pay additional tax for the poor. Cumulatively, 14 respondents (64%) thought that any household making more than $50,000 should pay additional to help the poor.
Curiously, the one respondent who thought no one should be taxed to help the poor nonetheless thought that the poor should be helped. The question, then, is who qualifies as poor and in need of help? Five (23%) of my respondents thought only households making less than $12,000 needed help. (It's worth noting here that in America's 50 biggest cities, a median, one-bedroom apartment costs $15,000 a year. Without any help, $12,000 a year would be tough.) Most respondents (12 or 54%) thought that households making less than $30,000 to $40,000 deserved help.
One of the great things about a democracy is that it has to reconcile so many different views. 12 (55%) of my respondents thought that people making about $40,000 to $50,000 should be taxed to help the poor. 8 (36%) of my respondents thought that those same households were poor and should be helped. It would be tough to tax someone from one pocket and then help them by putting money back in their other pocket.
My opinion, for what it is worth? The top third should help the bottom third. The third in the middle? They get no help and they don't have to help anyone. That essentially means that any households making more than $75,000 are taxed to help the poor and any household making less than $33,000 would get help. If you make between $33,000 to $75,000 - as do a third of American households - you neither pay for the poor nor get help for being poor. Also, I wouldn't argue vigorously with someone arguing that the cutoffs should be at 25% and 75% (which would mean only households making less than $26,000 would get help and only households making more than $90,000 would help them.) (And this would be progressive tax. Income over $75,000 might be taxed at 1% and income over, say, $400,000 might be taxed at 5%. Also, I'm not saying that people wouldn't have other taxes to pay to help finance schools, roads, courts, etc. Those taxes I would apply to at least the top two-thirds of Americans and - again - progressively.)
Here are the results from the poll. Thank you for helping me to get a sense of what people think of as fair.