Here’s a surprise, in a recent poll of Californians The Field Poll asked if Californians want to balance the state’s budget by having their taxes raised, and a lot of people said they would prefer not to have their taxes raised.
The poll mysteriously did not ask if people would prefer that large corporations, who got their taxes cut in the most recent budget negotiations, should pay for their use of the state’s infrastructure. It did not ask if oil companies should pay a bit for the oil they take out of the ground here to sell back to us. It did not ask of the wealthiest Californians — some of whom pay no taxes at all — should be asked to pay a fair share to support the infrastructure that enabled them to become wealthy.
The poll only asked people what they think of raising taxes. Only 9% think California’s budget should be balanced using only tax increases.
The poll asked if the budget should be balanced using spending cuts only. 31% said yes. The poll did not ask what specific spending to cut. I suspect people would have answered that the state should cut only that spending that is wasted, but certainly not any of the spending that is used for services they find necessary, like schools or roads or police. Cut that other stuff. It did not explain what spending cuts mean to the respondents, that class sizes have grown enormous, that college tuition has increased beyond what people can afford, or that elderly ill people cannot get basic services. They would answer, cut that other stuff but not stuff that affects any of us.
The poll asked if people feel the state should balance the budget using an equal mix of spending cuts and tax increases. 29% said yes. It did not point out that people have always answered polls this way but the state has been only cutting and cutting for years and years.
The poll also asked if people feel the state is responding to their needs. That would be the same state that has been cutting services for years and years, while giving big tax breaks to corporations. Surprisingly a lot of people feel that the state is not responding to their needs.
The poll did not ask if people wanted a pony.