Most Americans Favor 'Soak the Rich' Tax

Populism is in, and half think Wal-Mart best symbolizes America
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2009 5:47 AM CDT
FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2009 file photo, actor George Clooney attends a special screening of "Up In The Air" during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)
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(Newser) – As if tea parties weren't screamingly pointing to its existence, there lurks a deep vein of populism in recessionary America, and a wide-ranging Vanity Fair/60 Minutes poll ran into it. Some 48% of respondents chose Wal-Mart, though the mag notes an element of cynicism, as the firm that 'best symbolizes America'—way more than the 15% that picked runner-up Google. And 51% of respondents wanted to sock it to the rich dudes, saying they'd favor a 50% or higher tax on the wealthiest millionaires. Some other revelations:

  • Wal-Mart is considering stocking the swine flu vaccine—but despite the store's wide appeal, 33% said they wouldn't be comfortable with getting basic health care services, while 25% would. That may change, though, as a third of the 18-29 age group said they'd go to Dr. Sam.
  • More Americans—33%—identified dining out as the hardest thing to cut back on during the recession; 27% said they missed vacations the most.
  • Some 26% of men said they'd swap lives with George Clooney, more than those who'd rather be Barack Obama, Tom Brady, or Bruce Springsteen. A third of women, however, said they just liked being themselves—but Michelle Obama was the most popular choice after that, with 26%.
Click the 60 Minutes link to vote in the poll.