• The Pew poll found 42% of Americans said cutting economic inequality should be a top priority for the government. That's just above the 39% that believed illegal immigration is a problem to confront.
  • Still, responses split among party lines as Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to say inequality should be a big priority for the government.
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A growing share of Americans believe that economic inequality is a bigger problem that the government should tackle over illegal immigration, according to a new poll released Thursday from the Pew Research Center.

The poll showed that 42% of Americans believe that curbing inequality should be a "major priority" for the federal government. That's just above the 39% that believed illegal immigration is a problem for lawmakers to tackle.

Still, responses predictably split among partisan lines. Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters were far likelier than Republicans and those who lean to the GOP to say that wealth inequality should be a top priority for the government to address 61% vs. 20%, respectively.

In the Pew poll, the affordability of healthcare, drug addiction, college affordability, the federal deficit, and climate change were the top five issues that respondents identified as a problem mandating a government response.

A majority of American adults 61% said there was "too much" income inequality in the United States, according to Pew.

Wealth inequality has been a key focus among the 2020 Democrats campaigning to become the nation's 46th president, and a majority of the candidates support increasing taxes on the richest Americans to level the playing field for the middle class.

Some, like Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, have called for a wealth tax that imposes levies on everything the richest Americans own. Support for the plan cuts across party lines, as a majority Republicans also favor the idea, which would significantly cut the amount of wealth held by the richest billionaires in the US.

The Pew result echoes another poll that Fox News released last month showing backing for Warren's wealth tax far outpaced President Trump's border wall with Mexico 68% to 26%, respectively.

Critics argue the wealth tax would stifle growth and be difficult to implement, but proponents contend it's necessary to reduce the gaping inequality that exists in American society.

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