The Chron’s headline says “most want cuts, not taxes, to fix state budget.” The story cites a new Field poll, and the Chron’s not the only paper to spin it that way. The Sacramento Bee also claims that the poll shows widespread support for cuts instead of taxes.
But the folks at Calitics drew a different, more encouraging conclusion:
The responses, of statewide registered voters:
Cuts only: 31%
Mostly cuts: 19%
Equal mix of cuts and taxes: 29%
Mostly taxes: 9%
Taxes only: 4%
No opinion: 8%
So the way this is being reported in the media strikes me as being pretty flawed. The way I read this says 61% of voters want taxes to be some element of the solution to the budget mess, and only 31% want cuts-only.
And as people take to the streets March 4th to protest cuts to education and public services, I think that message will get reinforced. I certainly hope so -- and I hope when protesters are interviewed, they don’t make the mistake of saying that “there’s plenty of waste in the budget” or that resources need to be better deployed.
The truth is that we need to raise taxes, particularly on the wealthy, to close this budget gap without destroying the state. I’m a homeowner who wants higher property taxes and better schools; anyone want to join me in Homeowners For Prop. 13 Reform?
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