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NY Times: By a solid majority Americans say no to Gov. Scott Walker's plans to gut collective bargaining of public employees.
As labor battles erupt in state capitals around the nation, a majority of Americans say they oppose efforts to weaken the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions and are also against cutting the pay or benefits of public workers to reduce state budget deficits, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
Americans oppose weakening the bargaining rights of public employee unions by a margin of nearly two to one: 60 percent to 33 percent. While a slim majority of Republicans favored taking away some bargaining rights, they were outnumbered by large majorities of Democrats and independents who said they opposed weakening them. Those surveyed said they opposed, 56 percent to 37 percent, cutting the pay or benefits of public employees to reduce deficits, breaking down along similar party lines. A majority of respondents who have no union members living in their households opposed both cuts in pay or benefits and taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employees.
60 to 33. That's a bit beyond the margin of error, wouldn't you say?
Democratic Governors like Dannel Malloy (CT) and Jerry Brown (CA) want to discuss revenue enhancement as well as spending cuts; Republicans only want cuts. So what does the public say?
Tax increases were not as unpopular among those surveyed as they are among many governors, who have vowed to avoid them. Asked how they would choose to reduce their state’s deficits, those polled preferred tax increases over benefit cuts for state workers by nearly two to one. Given a list of options to reduce the deficit, 40 percent said they would increase taxes, 22 percent chose decreasing the benefits of public employees, 20 percent said they would cut financing for roads and 3 percent said they would cut financing for education.
That would be, as we say in the trade, agreeing with the Democrats. We also have another word for it for Republicans: overreaching. Just sayin'.
Full poll questions are here. There are interesting views of unions, perceptions of salaries and benefits for public employees (26% too high, 25% too low, 36% just right) and more.
But there's no reason to assume Walker is on the right side of public opinion.