Rasmussen: Voters Support 10% Cut in Public Sector Pay, Oppose Tax Hikes
This largely verifies earlier findings by the Buckeye Institute:
State workers should be screaming bloody murder as they did when furloughs were imposed last year. But public resentment at their compensation, including what analysts describe as “pension envy,” has reined them in and muted their protests.
“Most Americans believe that federal employees and other government employees are paid more than comparable private-sector employees,” said pollster Scott Rasmussen. “When we’ve asked about 10 percent pay cuts for public employees, people have overwhelmingly supported that.”
A recent Rasmussen Reports poll found 69 percent of respondents nationwide opposed paying higher taxes to avoid public-sector layoffs. The response underscored a hardening of attitudes since early 2009, tied to rising pessimism among private-sector workers about personal finances and job security, Rasmussen said.
With the recession depressing revenue, states are struggling to keep up with pension costs, with New Jersey and Illinois opting to skip fiscal 2011 payments or issue bonds to raise cash for their retirement systems.
States collectively face a shortfall of at least $1 trillion in funding for employee pensions and retirement benefits, according to a Pew Center on the States report.
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