Gallup: 52% Support Heavy Taxes on the Wealthy to Redistribute Wealth

April 18, 2013 - 6:23 AM

wealthy

Wealth managers Tim Davidson, second left, Greg Skidmore, center, and Brandon Lacoff, second right, pose for a photo on Nov. 28. 2011 with a ceremonial check after the men claimed a $254.2 million Powerball jackpot in Rocky Hill, Conn. (Connecticut Lottery via the Stamford Advocate/AP)

(CNSNews.com) - A new Gallup poll finds almost 6 in ten Americans believe that money and wealth should be more evenly distributed among a larger percentage of Americans, while one third think the current distribution is "fair."

Slightly more than half of Americans (52 percent) want government to do the redistribution by taxing the wealthy.

Pollsters posed the following question: "Do you feel that the distribution of money and wealth in this country today is fair, or do you feel that the money and wealth in this country should be more evenly distributed among a larger percentage of the people?"

Fifty-nine percent said "more evenly distributed," which is about the same as when Gallup first asked the question in 1984. Back then, 60 percent said "more evenly distributed."

(Gallup notes that the percentage of people saying wealth should be "more evenly distributed" has ranged from a low of 56% in 2000 to a high of 68% in April 2008.)

More than eight in 10 Democrats favor a more even distribution of wealth, compared with 28% of Republicans.

In response to a second question, 52 percent of Americans said the government should redistribute wealth by imposing "heavy taxes on the rich," while 45 percent say it should not.

Gallup notes that responses to this question have varied within a fairly small range since Gallup began to ask it in 1998, from a low of 45 percent favoring tax-based redistribution that year to a high of 52 percent today.

Gallup says there are large partisan differences on this question as well: 72 percent of Republicans oppose heavy taxes on the rich as a method of wealth redistribution, while 75 percent of Democrats who favor such action.

"Inequality is and will continue to be one of the most important domestic political issues," Gallup concluded.

Barack Obama campaigned for the presidency on a promise to redistribute wealth, and he continues to call for additional taxes on the wealthy.

His administration is now pushing for an increase in the federal minimum wage, from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour. On Thursday, Acting Labor Secretary Seth Harris was visiting Phoenix, Ariz., and Las Vegas to hold another series of discussions on Obama's call to raise the minimum wage for "hard working, low-wage workers," the department announced.

The Gallup poll, conducted April 4-7, 2013, is based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,005 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.