Support for levying higher taxes on wealthy Americans has reached historic levels according to a nationwide survey released by Gallup this week.
According to the survey, when asked if they “think our government should or should not redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich,” 52% of Americans responded they would support that policy and only 45% were opposed. The issue has seen growing support since Gallup began polling this specific language in 1998, when the numbers were largely reversed: only 45% of Americans supported this type of taxation and 51% were opposed. Support has held steady at the historically high level of 52% since the last time Gallup polled the question in 2013.
Further, the same survey also asked respondents whether they felt “that the distribution of money and wealth in this country today is fair, or do you feel tht the money and wealth in this country should be more evenly distributed among a larger percentage of people.” On this question, 63% responded that money and wealth should be more evenly distributed and just 31% thought the current distribution of wealth was fair. Unlike the growth we have seen regarding Americans’ opinions on higher taxes for the wealthy, their views on the fairness of wealth distribution have remained almost unchanged since 1985, when 60% of Americans responded that we needed a more even distribution of wealth.
With the 2016 presidential election heating up and income inequality continuing to be a front page issue around the country, we expect these issues will remain a central focus in our country’s political discourse for the foreseeable future. You can read the full poll results here.