Poll: Most see income inequality growing but parties differ sharply on solutions

When asked what would do more to reduce poverty, 54% of all Americans say raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations in order to expand programs for the poor. Fewer (35%) believe that lowering taxes on the wealthy to encourage investment and economic growth would be the more effective approach.

Three-quarters of Democrats favor raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations to expand programs for the poor as the better approach to lessen poverty. Republicans, by about two-to-one (59% to 29%), believe the government could do more to reduce poverty by lowering taxes on the wealthy and corporations in order to encourage more investment and economic growth.

Divisions are comparably wide when it comes to the effect of government assistance programs to the poor: By a 66% to 26% margin, most Democrats think aid to the poor helps because people can’t get out of poverty until their basic needs are met. But by a 65% to 28% margin, most Republicans believe these programs do more harm than good by making people too dependent on the government.