A big majority of Americans agree that the very rich should “contribute an extra share of their total wealth” each year to support public programs, according to a new national survey.
The Reuters/Ipsos survey also suggested that people prefer an annual levy on total wealth than on income.
Why it matters
Raising taxes on the extremely wealthy has become a key issue in the upcoming 2020 election.
Even among Democrats, there is disagreement. While candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have argued strongly for a wealth tax, others such as Joe Biden and Peter Buttigieg have been less enthusiastic.
The survey of 4,441 representative American voters found 64% strongly or somewhat agreed that: “the very rich should contribute an extra share of their total wealth each year to support public programs.”
The statement was supported by 77% of Democrats and 53% of Republicans, with reactions consistent across gender, race, and household income.
Reuters reports that support for such a wealth tax has risen since the big crash of 2007/8 and hasn’t leveled off yet.
Republican voter Esin Zimmerman told Reuters:
“Rich people have a right to blow their money on Lamborghinis and world-wide cruises or whatever. But that money could be used in other ways that help people.”
Since the recession of 2008, the top 1%’s share of national net worth has grown from 27.8% to 32.2%, according to Reuters.
Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy played a big part in that transfer of wealth.