That for which we are and aren’t willing to pay
At least according to this Rasmussen poll.
It fairly clearly demonstrates that there is a resistence to the attempts by our federal leadership to further the welfare state that now exists here.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Adults shows that only 19% would be willing to pay higher taxes to avoid layoffs of state employees. Sixty-nine percent (69%) say they would not be willing to pay more in taxes for this reason. Another 11% are undecided.
The 19% probably are state employees (just kidding). But that’s a pretty damning majority. It says, very clearly, that there are no sacrosanct jobs, and certainly not within government. It also makes it clear that if those jobs are to be saved, increased taxation isn’t the way.
Entitlement programs don’t do much better:
Twenty-two percent (22%) would pay higher taxes to prevent cuts in entitlement programs for low-income Americans. Sixty-three percent (63%) say they would not pay more to keep these programs afloat. Another 15% are undecided.
Again, an overwhelming majority see entitlements as less important than cuts in their own income due to increased taxes. A not so subtle warning to politicians that before they raise taxes, which they will, there had better be some real cuts to entitlements made.
Education cuts have a lesser majority, but still, taxpayers are in no mood for tax increases:
Americans are slightly less opposed to paying higher taxes for education. Thirty-four percent (34%) say they are willing to pay higher taxes to provide funding for public education, but 54% say they are not. Another 12% aren’t sure.
Where the public seems somewhat willing to consider higher taxes (although a majority still isn’t willing to pay them) is in the area of public safety and police.
Thirty-seven percent (37%) say they are willing to pay higher taxes to increase the number of police and firemen in their communities. Still, 52% say they would not be willing to do so. Another 10% are not sure.
Now, there’s a context to these poll results that needs to be understood:
Most U.S. voters (52%) continue to believe that tax increases will hurt the economy, while just 22% think tax increases are good for the economy.
The economy is dictating at least part of this feeling by the public – its uncertainty and the continued economic downturn have voters wanting to hold on to every dollar they can. What’s interesting about the results is that while each category above has a majority against raising taxes, this isn’t just a blanket rejection. You go from an overwhelming majority of voters saying no to new taxes to save government jobs and stop cuts in entitlements to a bare majority when it comes to public safety.
That should inform politicians of the public’s priorities and where the line is if it comes to the point that taxes must be raised. Whether these attitudes will change if the economy improves is anyone’s guess. I’m not saying I favor tax increases, btw. I’m a “no new taxes” guy. Government gets more than it should have now, in my estimation.
I offer this as an interesting peek into the mind of the public right now. The point, of course, is given these numbers, appeals to save government jobs and/or prevent entitlement cuts is going to fall on deaf ears. Politicians who pursue increased tax revenues for those reasons (and at the behest of government unions like the SEIU) will be shooting themselves in the foot, politically speaking.
The pubic is in no mood for increased taxes. Woe be unto any pol who pushes them right now, especially to save government jobs and entitlements.