Poll: Majority support taxing the rich to redistribute wealth

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A majority of those surveyed also believe that the government should "redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich." The 52 percent who support that proposal represent a record high; 45 percent disagreed.

"The broad trend over time does suggest … that Americans have become more rather than less in favor of active government involvement in redistributing wealth," Gallup's Frank Newport said in a statement.

Again, predictable partisan splits prevailed. Three-quarters of Democrats and half of independents support higher taxes on the wealthy as a method of wealth distribution, while just a quarter of Republicans do.

"President Barack Obama has consistently pushed for measures that he believes would provide those at the bottom end of the socioeconomic spectrum a fairer chance to succeed, and has coupled that with consistent arguments for higher taxes on those with high incomes and wealth," said Newport. "At this point, the American public would generally agree with Obama that wealth should ideally be more evenly distributed -- and a modest majority, consisting mainly of Democrats and independents, appears to support the idea of bringing about that redistribution through heavier taxes on the rich."