Candidates in the 2020 presidential election have made it their mission to target the ultra-wealthy in America with proposed higher taxes. The idea may be resonating with voters, as a new poll on Friday revealed that a majority of Americans believe that the country’s richest citizens should be forking over more tax dollars.
According to The Hill, a Reuters/Ipsos poll made it crystal clear that a vast majority of Americans — 64 percent — agreed that “the very rich should contribute an extra share of their total wealth each year to support public programs.”
The question even seemed to at least somewhat transcend political ideologies, with 77 percent of Democratic respondents agreeing with the statement and a majority of Republican respondents also agreed, at 53 percent.
The poll also asked if “the very rich should be allowed to keep the money they have, even if that means increasing inequality,” a statement to which 54 percent of respondents disagreed. Politically, the question was more divided than the previous one, with a majority of Democrats disagreeing and a majority of Republicans agreeing.
Additional taxes on America’s wealthy class have long been a point of conflict between Democrats and Republicans, with the latter believing that such taxes could be unconstitutional and cause harm to the American economy.
In contrast, 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has devoted a significant portion of her campaign to offering proposals on how taxing the ultra-wealthy could bring about economic growth for America. As laid out on her official campaign website, Warren’s “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” plan would level a two-cent tax on those with over $50 million.
She claims that such a tax would result in an extra $3 trillion that would help bolster America’s fledgling middle-class.
“The 400 richest Americans currently own more wealth than all Black households and a quarter of Latino households combined,” Warren writes on her website. “Put another way, the richest 130,000 families in America now hold nearly as much wealth as the bottom 117 million families combined,” Warren added, after citing a number of studies that show the enormous growth of wealth among the ultra-rich.
Fellow progressive Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders also wishes to take aggressive measures to rein in the inequality between America’s richest and the rest of the country.
According to his official campaign website, Sanders proposes a tax on what he calls “extreme wealth,” which he says is anyone with a net worth above $32 million. Sanders estimates that under his plan, America will raise an extra $4.35 trillion while assuring supporters that it will “substantially break up the concentration of wealth and power of this small privileged class.”