Americans Want To Tax The Rich And Spread the Wealth, Gallup Poll Says

The majority of Americans support heavy taxes on the rich and want wealth to be more evenly distributed, a Gallup poll revealed.

About six in 10 Americans, 59 percent, believe money and wealth in the United States should be more evenly distributed among a larger percentage of people, according to the Gallup poll.

The poll results are not a surprise. Gallup has asked the same question since 1984, and since then the percentage of those who believe money and wealth should be available to all ranges from a high of 66 percent (1990) and a low of 57 percent (2011).

But when asked how the U.S. should redistribute the wealth in America, 52 percent of the 1,005 poll respondents had one answer: "heavy taxes on the rich." The other 45 percent said the government should not. More Americans today believe the rich should be heavily taxed than when the question was first posed in 1998. 

The results back President Barack Obama's policies, according to Gallup, saying he "has consistently pushed for measures that he believes would provide those at the bottom end of the socioeconomic spectrum a fairer chance to succeed, and has coupled that with consistent arguments for higher taxes on those with high incomes and wealth."

Under Obama, Latinos seem to be more satisfied in 2012 than they were in 2011 with finances and the country's direction.  Today, half of Latinos (51 percent) are satisfied with the country's direction, a 13 percentage point increase over 2011, when just 38 percent said the same, according to the Pew Research Hispanic Center. 

One third, or 33 percent, said their personal finances were "excellent" or "good" vs. 24 percent in 2011, and 73 percent of Latinos expected improved finances in the next few years, as opposed to 67 percent in 2011.

The top 1 percent own twice the share of the nation's wealth as it does the nation's income.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, wealth inequality is actually larger than income inequality. The nation's top 1 percent own 35 percent of the nation's wealth, while the bottom 90 percent owns just 23 percent.

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