Friday, March 20, 2009

Poll on Doyle’s Budget Proposals

From the new MacIver Institute, a poll on Governor Doyle’s budget plan.

While the McIver Institute is an avowedly free market and limited government “think tank,” the poll appears to be quite fair. For example, most of the questions are in a “balanced” format, where respondents are asked to chose between two alternatives, rather than presented with a single alternative (which usually results in a large percentage agreeing with whatever proposition is offered).

The poll, for example, tells respondents what (1.) “Some say the best way to cut Wisconsin’s six billion dollar budget deficit is Governor Doyle and the legislature should focus on cutting spending and only increase taxes as a last resort,” and then that (2.) “Others say the best way to cut Wisconsin’s six billion dollar budget deficit is Governor Doyle and the legislature should focus on raising taxes and cut spending only as a last resort.”

When asked to chose between the two, alternative (1.) -- cutting taxes -- was preferred by 83% to 15%.

By 62% to 33%, the public said that Doyle should keep his promise to lay off 10,000 state workers. (One could argue that it biases things to tell respondents that Doyle has promised this.)

Not all responses are what a limited government person would want. Respondents said they “favored” rather than “opposed” the fact that “Governor Doyle’s budget will create a new 7.75 percent tax on individuals making more than $225 thousand dollars and couples making more than $300 thousand dollars,” and did so by 62% by 35% majority. Selfishness likewise shows its face when 53% said they favored the fact that “Governor Doyle’s budget creates a new $95 million dollar sales tax on Wisconsin products sold to out of state buyers.”

Results like this tend to legitimate the survey.

Robust majorities opposed Doyle’s proposal for new state government workers, and the fact that “Governor Doyle’s budget gives taxpayer funded health care benefits to the unmarried partners of state and university employees.”

All in all, the survey should stiffen the backbones of Republicans in the state legislature, and give some Democrats in swing districts something to think out.

This is most certainly a valuable maiden project for the MacIver Institute.

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Blogger Tom said...

What about the false presumption that there's actually a $6B budget deficit? Why has that number (and what happened to $5.7B?) been accepted despite the fact that you can only arrive at it by assuming that every department will get all their requested spending increases improved?

8:18 AM  

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