Fifty-three percent (53%) of Americans believe that Socialism will lead to higher taxes and more government control. A ScottRasmussen.com survey found that 47% disagree. In fact, 20% believe it will lead to lower taxes and less government while 27% believe it would leave things about where they are today.
This is the latest data in an ongoing survey series examining what Socialism means today (sign up to receive email updates).
Forty percent (40%) of US voters have a favorable opinion of that ideology, but what they support is far different from what it has meant historically. In fact, among those with a favorable view of Socialism, just 34% believe it will lead to higher taxes and more government control. Another third (33%) think it would reduce taxes and government control.
Perhaps most stunning is that voters with a favorable opinion of Socialism believe it is more likely to lead to lower taxes than Capitalism (33% of them think Socialism leads to lower taxes, 27% say the same about Capitalism). However, like most voters, those who like Socialism believe a Free Market system is more likely to cut taxes and reduce government control more than any other economic system.
Data released earlier showed that just 19% of voters today believe Capitalism and Free Markets are the same. Other recent data showed that, among those with a favorable opinion of Socialism, 54% want less government control of the economy.
Among all voters, 31% believe Capitalism would lead to lower taxes and less government control. Twenty-eight percent (28%) believe it would increase both taxes and government control. A plurality, 41%, believe it would leave things about where they are today. This and other data suggests that many voters continue to equate capitalism with crony capitalism.
As for a Free Market System, 43% of all voters believe it would lead to lower taxes and less government control. Forty percent (40%) think it would mean little change. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of voters have a favorable opinion of Free Markets, the most positive assessment of any political and economic system. Free markets are also seen as more fair than Capitalism, Socialism, or Communism.
Support for Free Markets is consistent with data released earlier showing that 65% believe just about all positive change in America begins outside of the political system.
It’s also consistent with the broader American support for the ideal of freedom. Our nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, states that the very purpose of government is to protect our unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those attitudes remain deeply embedded in the nation’s cultural DNA.
Ninety-three percent (93%) of voters agree with a sentiment sometimes defined as the American Creed: Every American should have the right to live their own life as they see fit, so long as they respect the rights of others to do the same. But, they know it needs work. Only 49% believe that most Americans respect the right of other people to live their own life as they see fit. Even more skepticism is found about the federal government. Just 32% believe that it respects the right of every American to live their own life as they see fit.
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The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted October 25-26, 2018 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).