Most Americans hold an intuitive belief that one of the most effective ways to keep government in its appropriate place is to limit its access to our wallets. They have a well-grounded, experience-based suspicion that if government can take anything it wants from some (high-income) people, it can, and most likely will, take it from everyone else, too. They are unenthusiastic about massive new spending because they understand tax increases both feed government and whet its appetite for more.
The tax issue has lost its political punch in the eyes of some commentators, but not among voters. So the presidential candidates recognize this year's election could hinge on who better convinces Americans that he has the right plan to cut taxes.