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  • People favor tax cuts in theory more than in practice. In a 2001 CBS News poll, 55 percent felt President Bush's tax cut would most benefit the rich, compared with only 26 percent who felt it would favor middle-income earners and 4 percent who thought it would most benefit the poor. This is yet another example of how a broad, generalized message about benefits for the “overall goodâ€? differs from a specific message about how a service will benefit consumers individually. Perhaps in these times of global uncertainty, more Americans will be open to the former message, even as economic instability makes them more disposed to the latter.
  • Financial services companies might want to consider taking a softer approach to the tax payment issue. Given the heightened sensitivity common in times of recession and war, it may be wise to use less aggressive anti-taxation messages, with words like “help,â€? “easeâ€? and “contributeâ€? in place of “fight,â€? “challengeâ€? and “pain.â€?
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