Are government policies hurting the people they are intended to help?
According to a recent Rasmussen report, the majority of American believe that the fastest way to close the income gap is to take the government out of the equation.
The national telephone survey found that 69 percent of U.S. residents believe the salary gap is an issue that deserves attention, but 59 percent think that it can best be solved without the government intervening in the economy.
Responses to this question varied depending on party affiliation. Fifty-three percent of Democrats say that more government involvement will narrow the income gap, while 87 percent of Republicans believe the poor can best be served without government interference in the economy. 59 percent of unaffiliated voters say less government involvement is the better course.
But more than any demographic, it is those who are involved with the government who believe the government should take an active goal in reducing income inequality. Sixty-one percent of the political class think more government activism will best address the issue. However, 70 percent of mainstream voters see less government involvement as a better way to close the income gap.
And when researchers asked respondents the broader question of whether or not they thought increased federal or state involvement would make society “more fair, less fair or remain about the same,” a plurality, 48 percent, said that society would be less fair.
If the economy treats any group unfairly, it is the middle class, say the study’s respondents. Most voters believe the U.S. economy is fair to women, blacks and Hispanics, but more than ever — 66 percent — view it as unfair to the middle class.
President Obama is expected to focus the middle class and income inequality in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Obama has suggested that he may bypass the GOP-controlled House and issue an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers.
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