Posted by | September 24, 2010 15:33 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

Warning: The content of the following post may cause the heads of conservatives to explode.

Republicans love to scream about “class warfare” and “income redistribution” whenever Obama brings up not extending the Bush tax cuts for the highest tax bracket. They can’t wait to call Obama and the Democrats “socialist” for wanting to raise the marginal income taxes of the wealthy by 3.6%,  as if even under the Democrats’ plan the wealthy still would not be saving more money from the Bush tax cuts than the middle class. But a new report released by Dan Ariely of Duke University and Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School shows that Americans want more “income redistribution” than Obama and the Democrats would ever dream of proposing.

According to the report, a randomly selected 5,522-person sample, reflecting the country’s ideological, economic and gender demographics, surveyed in December 2005, believe that the top 20% of the country should only control about 32% of the wealth. People making over $100,000 per year had similar responses to those making less than $50,000 per year. Of course, in reality, the top 20% of the country controls 84% of the wealth. Even more interesting is when the respondents were presented with unlabeled pie charts of the income distribution in the United States, versus the income distribution in Sweden, where the top 20% only control 36% of the wealth. When asked where they would rather live, 92% of respondents answered that they would rather live in a country with Sweden’s income distribution. So if Obama is a “socialist,” what does that make the average American?

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