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New Poll: Voters Prefer Cutting Public Sector Compensation, Oppose Raising Taxes

10:00 AM, Sep 20, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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A new survey of 1,000 registered voters has found that 60 percent of respondents say state employees should contribute more to their pension fund, and 60 percent also say they are against raising taxes to pay for state budget shortfalls. The poll was conducted by veteran Democratic pollster Douglas Schoen on behalf of the Manhattan Institute. Schoen writes more about his poll's findings in the Wall Street Journal:

A majority (51%) say they would not be willing to cut "social service programs provided by your state" to maintain the compensation of public employees; and 60% say that "education and health care" should not be cut so that "the salaries and benefits of public employees could be paid at current levels."

Further, by 48% to 40%, voters say that public employees' salaries should be "frozen," and they should be required to contribute more towards their benefits when states face the type of crises they are now facing. Close to two-thirds (64%) say they would not be willing to have their taxes raised as a means of keeping salaries and benefits of current employees at current levels.

However, there is a clear distinction in voters' minds between what current public employees should be asked to contribute and what retired public employees should be asked to contribute. Sixty-nine percent say retirees should "not have to" contribute more towards their health-care benefits or take a reduced pension because of state and local government budget problems.

Read the full results of the poll here

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