The Extrahuman Union

“Can’t Someone Else Do It?” Polling Tax Hikes in Connecticut

Posted on: February 24, 2011

I’ll have more to say about this on the weekend, I think, but this poll just out from the conservative Yankee Institute, if it’s accurate, shows us a lot about the “Can’t someone else do it?” mentality of the public when it comes to how to fix budget shortfalls. Here’s the major results, from the press release:

By 73-15%, voters oppose eliminating the $500 property tax credit (least popular)

By 68-21%, voters oppose creating a state earned income tax credit

By 67-31%, voters oppose increasing the gas tax

By 60-34%, voters oppose eliminating sales tax exemptions

By 54-38%, voters oppose increasing the income tax

By 53-43%, voters oppose increasing the sales tax

By 71-20%, voters support seeking concessions from state employees (most popular)

By 68-39%, voters support increasing tobacco and alcohol taxes

By 47-28%, voters support budget cuts in social services and higher education

58% of voters say they have considered moving out of Connecticut because of high taxes

This poll needs a much more thorough analysis, and I’d love to know the demographic breakdown. (There’s also some weird stuff in there–did you know that after the 65+ crowd, the people most interested in repealing health care are between the ages of 30-39? Yeah. Go see the crosstabs). Plus that question about the Earned Income Tax Credit is a huge, biased paragraph, really shifty–it’s the only question where they give a LOT of context. Hm.

Governor Malloy has proposed an Earned Income Tax Credit for low income households that earn less than about $21,000 a year from their jobs. Such households would be eligible for a tax refund of about $1,700 even though they did not pay any state income taxes because their income was too low. This credit would be in addition to an existing federal earned income tax credit of more than $5,000 such households are already eligible for. The new tax credit would cost Connecticut taxpayers more than $100 million a year in new spending. Do you support or oppose a STATE Earned Income Tax Credit for low income households?

So do you support FREE MONEY FOR LAYABOUTS? Well? Do you?

The one thing I can take away that I think is honest, though, is this: people want the sacrifice to be shared by others. As long as they don’t have to pay more taxes or see their own services cut, they’re fine. Since most people aren’t state workers, they’d prefer for them to shoulder the burden–or else they’ll move out of state!

I think this is pretty universal. The public likes to blame everyone but ourselves for the mess we’re in: state employees, unions, politicians, corporations–but our twin demands for more and better services and juicy tax cuts are a massive part of the problem, as well.

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