Around six-in-ten U.S. adults say the nation’s economic system unfairly favors powerful interests, though partisans are divided. Partisan differences extend to beliefs about why people are rich or poor.
A majority of Americans now view the federal tax system as unfair, including similar shares of Republicans and Democrats. But partisans differ in their concerns about the tax system.
As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, the public has starkly different expectations about which groups in society will gain influence – and those that will lose influence – under his administration.
Pew Research Center President Michael Dimock examines the changes – some profound, some subtle – that the U.S. experienced during Barack Obama’s presidency.
The nation’s aggregate wealth continues to show signs of recovery, but that wealth recovery has been concentrated on the wealthiest Americans. Meanwhile, the aggregate net worth for America’s economic middle is actually declining.
By two-to-one (44% to 22%), the public says that raising taxes on incomes above $250,000 would help the economy rather than hurt it, while 24% say this would not make a difference. Moreover, an identical percentage (44%) says a tax increase on higher incomes would make the tax system more fair, while just 21% say it would make the system less fair.
Over the past two decades, the number of Americans who see the country as divided along economic lines has increased sharply, and twice as many people now see themselves among the society's "have-nots."
The Republican Party has traditionally garnered it strongest backing from wealthier voters. But the recent overall decline in Republican Party affiliation nationwide has taken a toll even on GOP support among affluent voters.