This week, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney admitted that he is “not concerned about the very poor,” a jarring sentiment that nonetheless seems to encapsulate the Republican party’s view of income inequality. Be it through budget cuts, tax breaks, or prejudicial eligibility requirements for government benefits, members of the GOP are prioritizing America’s wealthy at the expense of America’s most vulnerable.
There are some Republicans, however, who aren’t subscribing to this agenda. According to a new poll, a majority of low-income Republicans believe that the America’s economic system unfairly favors the wealthy and that the government does not do enough to help the poor:
In a Pew Research Center survey conducted in early October, 57% of lower-income Republican and Republican-leaning voters said the government does too little for poor people. Just 18% said it does too much.
By contrast, higher-income Republicans took the opposite view; by roughly two-to-one (44% to 21%) Republicans with incomes of $75,000 or more said the government does too much, not too little, for poor people.
Indeed, while sharing the public’s general distrust of the government, 70 percent of low-income Republicans agree with the 99 percent movement that “a few rich people and corporations have too much power in the U.S.” And given that nearly half of all Americans are one financial shock away from falling into poverty, it is no wonder that even Republicans are questioning their party’s priorities.