Lest you get depressed over the stupidity in the headline in today’ U-T that a big majority approves of Jerry Brown’s proposed tax hikes, let me return you to reality, and a much better outlook. Here is the main quote.
Nearly two-thirds of Californians favor Brown’s tax hike, but fewer than half of them think he’s doing a good job as governor, according to a survey released Monday by the nonprofit Public Policy Institute of California.
First, remember that this a poll of “adults,” allegedly, not likely voters, not even registered voters. Such a poll is bound to vastly over estimate the support for new taxes. Likely voters are going to be more conservative than “adults.”
Second look at the actual wording of the question:
Governor Brown has proposed a plan to help close the state’s budget deficit over the next five years. The plan, which would be put before voters in November, would raise $7 billion annually through a temporary four-year half- cent sales tax increase and a temporary five- year income tax increase on those earning more than $250,000. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?
They might as well have said Do you support the heroic Governor’s surefire plan to cure our deficit woes? What kind of polling is this?
Third, in my experience, polls always over estimate the support for tax increases. Remember how Proposition D, the half cent sales tax increase was supposed to be a squeaker? The U-T published a poll near election time that showed a 40% to 40% tie with a large number of undecideds. Final result? The tax increased was crushed 63-37, not even getting the 40% it polled at.
Fourth, PPIC, who performed the polling, is generally left of center. Of course they will get a result that supports tax increases.
Finally, these tax increases energize an angry public to vote no because they are sick to death of lack of accountability from government. This vote will re-energize the tea party movement in California.
Great post. The California Republican Party’s Sentinel program put out a great rebuttal as well. I will post it below. To sign up for these Rapid Response emails, visit http://www.cagop.org/sentinel
Apparently, PPIC now stands for “Push Polling Is Condoned.”
Here’s how the PPIC worded its polling question on Jerry Brown’s tax hike initiative:
“Governor Brown has proposed a plan to help close the state’s budget deficit over the next five years. The plan, which would be put before voters in November, would raise $7 billion annually through a temporary four-year half cent sales tax increase and a temporary five year income tax increase on those earning more than $250,000. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?”
Of course, today the press is trumpeting the story that a majority of the people the PPIC polled (65%) said, sure, we’d favor making someone else pay to balance the budget. Sounds impressive… until you factor in that California voters have turned down the last seven tax hikes, in spite of positive polling.
We can’t allow the press to ignore this blatant manipulation and pass the results off as the gospel truth.
Please write a letter to the editor and/or call your local radio station to bring the facts back into the public discussion. (Be sure to use Facebook and Twitter to share your feelings with your friends and followers!)
Here are points to consider:
1) The question is framed in terms of deficit reduction, even though real world experience shows that there’s no correlation between raising taxes and reducing the deficit (or else California certainly would have no deficit by now.)
2) The poll tries to state as fact that Jerry Brown’s plan will, for certain, produce $7 billion in new tax revenue, even though again, real world experience shows that tax increases rarely, if ever, produce the revenue its predicted they will.
3) Is it really necessary for a pollster to underline that four year and five year tax increases are “temporary?” Doesn’t their descriptive as four year and five year tax increases already make that clear?
4) Look at the timing of this poll. It was released the same day that the Department of Finance director announced the budget trigger cuts.
5) MEANWHILE–this same poll shows 57% of Californians believe there’s a lot of waste in state government spending. But no headlines there.
6) The press is universally fawning over the tax increase element, while all but ignoring the “waste” aspect.
7) Californians have turned down the last seven attempts to force budget fixes on the backs of taxpayers, and they will certainly see through manipulated polling to turn down another ill-advised tax hike by Jerry Brown.
Just imagine if the PPIC had framed the question like this:
“Despite having the highest tax and regulatory burden in country, Jerry Brown would like to raise your taxes to pay for an expansion of government. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?”
The results would have been dramatically different. And, no doubt, buried on Page 4 of your local newspaper.
BE A CRP SENTINEL – Don’t forget to invite your Republican friends to become a CRP Sentinel! http://www.cagop.org/sentinel.
We can’t agree on this survey?!…