Survey finds America’s rich don’t pay fair share of taxes0
The Pew Research Center released a poll Monday that found many Americans believe rich people to be intelligent and hardworking, but also greedy and less honest than the average American. According to an accountant in San Marcos, nearly six in 10, or 58 percent, say the rich don’t pay enough in taxes, while 26 percent believe the rich pay their fair share and 8 percent say they pay too much.
The study highlights a particular challenge for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whose party’s policies are viewed by a wide majority as favoring the rich over the middle class and poor. Even among those who describe themselves as “upper class” or “upper middle class,” more than half said upper-income Americans don’t pay enough in taxes; only 10 percent said they paid too much.
This upper tier was more likely to say they are more financially secure now than 10 years ago — 62 percent, compared to 44 percent for those who identified themselves as middle class and 29 percent for the lower class. They are less likely to report problems in paying rent or mortgage, losing a job, paying for medical care or other bills and cutting back on household expenses.
The results reinforce a tide of recent economic data showing a widening economic divide. America’s middle class has been shrinking in the stagnant economy and poverty is now approaching 1960s highs, while wealth concentrates at the top. A separate Pew survey earlier this year found that tensions between the rich and poor were increasing and at their most intense level in nearly a quarter-century.
San Diego tax preparation experts agreed with the findings that found about 63 percent of Americans say the GOP favors the rich over the middle class and poor, and 71 percent say Romney’s election would be good for wealthy people. A smaller share, 20 percent, says the same about the Democratic Party. More Americans — 60 percent — say if Obama is re-elected his policies will benefit the poor, while half say they’ll help the middle class and 37 percent say they’ll boost the wealthy.
About 65 percent of Americans say the gap between rich and poor has gotten wider in the past decade, while 20 percent believe it has stayed the same and 7 percent say the gap has gotten smaller. Separately, 57 percent say a widening income gap is a bad thing for society; just 3 percent say it is a good thing.