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Our Left-Wing Country and Our Center-Right Government

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FireDogLake

Our Left-Wing Country and Our Center-Right Government

Majority Think Wealth Should Be More Evenly Distributed

Fifty-seven percent of Americans think wealth and money should be more evenly distributed and don’t think the current situation, with a hyper-concentration of money in the hands of a few, is fair, according to the latest Gallup poll. April 2011 results: Do you feel that the distribution of money and wealth in this country today is fair, or do you feel that the money and wealth in this country should be more evenly distributed among a larger percentage of the people?

While there is a strong belief that wealth should be more evenly distributed, the country is more divided on whether or not the government should correct this problem by heavily taxing the rich and redistributing the wealth.

People feel differently about how far a government should go. Here is a phrase which some people believe in and some don't. Do you think our government should or should not redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich? April 2011 results

I personally think the question exhibits an unfair bias when it uses the phrase “heavily taxing.” That could mean anything from a 40 percent to a 90 percent tax rate. Given that because of the carried interest and other similar tax loopholes you have some of the richest people in America often paying lower tax rates than teachers, you could redistribute a lot of wealth by even just modestly taxing the rich. I suspect if the poll used the actual number of a 49 percent tax rate, the rate for billionaires proposed by Rep. Jan Schakowsky, it would have gotten a better response.

Regardless, we basically have half the country supporting the “socialistic” idea of heavily taxing the rich to pay for direct government wealth redistribution. That is huge, mainstream support for an idea most politicians and the traditional media would label as radically left wing.

In a political system that wasn’t so totally dependent on donations from the ultra-wealthy to finance campaigns, you would actually expect this “tax the rich to redistribute the wealth idea” to be part of the platform of one of the two major parties.

Another reminder that we aren’t a center-right country. We are just a left-wing country that happens to have a center-right government because of a rigged political system that disproportionately distributes political power to the wealthy and status quo.

Jon Walker

Jon Walker is political writer and blogger for FireDogLake. He is an expert on health care policy and the politics of health care reform.

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