Majority of Americans See a Growing Chasm Between the Rich and Poor, New Survey Finds

A new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and USA Today shows that Americans in both political parties see a growing gap between the rich and poor, but have differing views on the causes and solutions regarding income inequality.

140123-85_WealthiestThe survey, which was conducted on Jan. 15-19 among 1,504 adults, shows that 68 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of Republicans believe income inequality has increased over the last decade.  However, the role of government in combating poverty was viewed along partisan lines, with more than twice as many Democrats as Republicans saying that the government can and should do a lot to reduce poverty.  The majority of those surveyed support raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations to expand programs for the poor (54 percent); raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour (73 percent); and extending unemployment benefits (63 percent).

President Obama is expected to highlight income inequality in his State of the Union address next week.