Today, the Manhattan Institute held an event to release results for the first-ever nationwide opinion poll on public employee benefits. Commenting in today’s Wall Street Journal on the poll results, pollster Douglas Schoen summed up some of the poll’s findings.
Americans believe that bold action to restrict spending is necessary to stabilize the finances of state government.
Last month, in a wide-ranging national survey of 1,000 randomly selected, registered voters, and in 10 polls in individual states each with 400 respondents, my polling company found that voters strongly favor measures to pare the compensation of current and future public employees. They strongly oppose higher taxes.
Specifically, over three-quarters (78%) say their state faced a budget crisis this year, and 68% say that the crisis was resolved with spending cuts. Overwhelmingly they blame politicians for creating and exacerbating the problems: 48% say “elected state officials made careless and self-serving decisions,” while only 6% say “state governments did not tax enough.”
One of those individual states polled was North Carolina. In my new article, I discuss the findings of the poll – which revealed similar attitudes toward public employees here in NC as are reflected in the national poll results. The main takeaway: NC citizens oppose tax hikes to support state employee benefits and believe state workers should contribute more to their benefit plans.