Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Pew Poll Shows That Most American's Favor Income Redistribution

The Pew poll shows that most American's believe that income inequality has grown and that government should do something about it.  This article summarizes some of the findings in the Pew poll.  It is pretty clear, however, Republicans are very different from Democrats and Independents in their perspective on many key ideas:

* 65% agree that income inequality has grown and 69% believe that government should address the problem

* 54% support raising taxes on wealth to fund safety net programs.  Only 35% believe that we should cut taxes on job creators to stimulate growth.  Republicans favor cutting taxes on the wealthy by 59% to 29%.

* Republicans also have a different view on the causes of poverty.  65% favor the view that government safety nets make the poor dependent and that poverty is not related to the lack of resources available to the poor.  The majority of Americans reject that view.  They believe that the poor can be helped out of poverty by making more resources available.

* 73% favor raising minimum wage and 63% favor extending unemployment benefits

* 60% believe that the economy unfairly favors the wealthy.  53% of Republicans believe that the economy is fair.

It is pretty clear from this poll that Republicans are in a minority on most of these issues.  That is why they keep stressing the problem of budget deficits.  They can get people to agree with them that government should be fiscally responsible.  They lose the debate if the conversation can be shifted from deficit reduction to the issue of income inequality and making the tax system more progressive to fund social safety net programs. 

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