A 59 percent majority of Americans believe wealth should be distributed more evenly, according to a Gallup poll
conducted April 4-7.
Thirty-three percent, meanwhile, think current income distribution is fair, according to the survey of 1,005 adults.
Sentiment has shifted on the issue since 2008, when 68 percent favored redistribution and 27 percent were against it.
Among Democratic respondents about 8 out of 10 said they believe income distribution should be more fair, while only 28 percent of Republicans felt the same way. Among Independents surveyed, 60 percent said wealth should be more evenly distributed, and 32 percent see current distribution as fair.
When it comes to the issue of taxes, 52 percent believe the government should redistribute wealth with heavy taxes on the rich, while 45 percent disagree.
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“The idea that the distribution of money and wealth is unfair has been evident in survey responses since 1984, with only minor fluctuations from measure to measure,” writes Gallup’s Frank Newport.
“But, Americans have over the past 15 years typically been more evenly divided on the idea that the government should intervene with heavy taxes.”
Inequality will remain a seminal policy issue, Newport added, noting that President Barack Obama has pushed for measures to help the poor and argued for higher taxes on the wealthy.
“At this point, the American public would generally agree with Obama that wealth should ideally be more evenly distributed — and a modest majority, consisting mainly of Democrats and independents, appears to support the idea of bringing about that redistribution through heavier taxes on the rich.”
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