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Class warfare alert

More evidence that most Americans fit the Republican idea of envious redistributionist class warriors.

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.

You may recall that when President Obama proposed the “Buffett rule,” which would have required people earning $1 million or more a year to pay at least the same tax rate as middle-income taxpayers, Republican Congressman (and possible 2016 candidate for president) Paul Ryan accused him of appealing to “fear, envy and anxiety” and pursuing “the class warfare path.”

What’s striking to me isn’t so much the 59 percent of Republicans who accept the party’s orthodoxy on reducing poverty. It’s the almost one-out-of-three who don’t.

On more specific issues, 73 percent of Americans (including a majority of Republicans) favor a $2.85 increase in the minimum wage and 63 percent (including more than four in 10 Republicans) favor extending benefits for the long-term unemployed.