How would you rate the government’s help?

WASHINGTON — A recent national survey by Pew Research Center finds that views on government help for the poor, the middle class, the wealthy and older people have changed little in recent years.

Majorities of Americans say the federal government does not provide enough help for older people (65 percent), poor people (62 percent) and the middle class (61 percent). By contrast, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) say the government provides too much help for wealthy people.

There are partisan differences in views of government support for all groups included in the survey. However, the gap is somewhat narrower in views of government help for older people than for other groups. While 73 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say the federal government does not do enough for older people, a smaller majority of Republicans (58 percent) say the same.

The partisan divide in views of government aid for the poor is wider than for other groups. Fully 82 percent of Democrats say the federal government does not provide enough help for poor people, compared with just 36 percent of Republicans. About as many Republicans say the government does too much for the poor (33 percent) as say it does too little; 27 percent say the help the government provides is about right.

The national survey was conducted Jan. 10–15 among 1,503 adults. (TAB)