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As President Trump arrives at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam released a poll that shows his billionaires-first economic agenda is deeply unpopular with the American public.
Oxfam’s research shows that a majority of Americans polled want less inequality and favor tax increases on the rich. To address inequality, those polled favored increasing the minimum wage and funding for safety net programs like social security, Medicaid and nutrition assistance. These policy preferences are in stark contrast to President Trump’s policies.
“It’s ironic that President Trump is taking his billionaires-first agenda to Davos when he can’t convince Americans to support it,” said Paul O’Brien, Oxfam America’s Vice President for Policy and Campaigns.
“Nobody is fooled by the America First mirage; it is plain to see who is reaping the rewards of Trump’s policy plans. It’s no wonder Americans are deeply worried about the billionaire bonanza while hundreds of millions of people struggle to survive on poverty pay.”
In Oxfam’s survey, almost half of those polled (49%) underestimated how unequal America’s economy is. Even so, the vast majority (77%) of those surveyed want the country to be more equal, including a majority (59%) who think the US government should act on this issue “urgently” or “very urgently”.
Even though it is at the very top of the economic agenda President Trump will celebrate with the elites in Davos, just 5% of Americans polled said cutting taxes for large companies is the most important way to reduce income inequality. Instead, the four most popular policies for decreasing inequality among the Americans surveyed include providing free and high quality education and medical care for all, raise taxes on the rich, raising the minimum wage, and increase funding for safety net programs like social security, Medicaid and nutrition assistance. Half of the Republicans surveyed agree the US government should increase taxes on the richest 1%, along with 75% of Democrats.
In a report released earlier this week, Oxfam highlighted that 82 percent of the wealth generated last year went to the richest one percent of the global population, while the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world, saw no increase in their wealth.
“President Trump was elected on the promise to fix the rigged political and economic system, but the billionaires-first policies he is championing will not only rig the rules further in favor of the rich and powerful, but are also deeply unpopular with the American public,” continued O’Brien. “He may do a victory lap with the primary beneficiaries of his tax policies in Davos, but nobody else is buying what he’s selling.”
Note to editors: The US online survey was conducted on Oxfam’s behalf by RIWI, a global survey firm, between October 17 and November 10, 2017. A total of 8,182 respondents representative of the US internet-using population took part in the survey. The US survey was part of a global survey of more than 70,000 people in 10 countries - United States, India, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Morocco, the Netherlands and Denmark – all conducted by RIWI.