Between August 29 and September 5 a survey was conducted of voters in ten states on behalf of the Manhattan Institute. The results are interesting. More than 75% of those polled said that their state faced serious budget problems this year, and almost 70% said the problem was resolved by budget cuts, not higher taxes.
The survey involved Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Whether you believe polls or not, the results of this poll are worth reading.
The top priorities for resolving current fiscal issues are to cut government spending (47%) and to ask for greater sacrifice from current public employees, by having them contribute more towards their benefits (31%). By almost two-to-one, they think that current public employees should have to contribute more toward their pension benefits because of budget problems.
And, when it comes to public employees,
There is a clear belief that public employees are better compensated than those in the private sector: 41% of voters think ‘the salaries and benefits of most public employees are too high for the work they do,” while 32% think they’re ‘about right’ and 13% think they’re ‘too low.’
Voters also believe that public employees generally are allowed to retire in their fifties, but should work to 65 like the private sector does.
[c]ollective bargaining is not overwhelmingly popular in the abstract. A majority (50%) agrees that ‘public employees should not bargain collectively and use union power to limit or delay the delivery of important government services.’ Moreover, 60% of voters feel that collective bargaining is a benefit ‘and can be changed and negotiated based on economic circumstances,’ while 30% see it as essential’ and ‘a basic right of labor.’ In the recent ‘disputes between state governments and public unions over collective bargaining,’ voters side with state officials by 46% to 39%.
Although Connecticut was not one of the states surveyed, it would appear that had those surveyed lived in Connecticut, Governor Malloy’s solution to Connecticut’s problems would have gotten a “thumbs down”.