Tuesday, June 01, 2010

EPIC Poll: Too Much Politics in Politics, Voters OK With Tax Increases

Man, we hate it when the politicians act all political and stuff. Makes you wonder why we bother having parties, doesn't it?

Out of 600 people surveyed by Lansing-based Epic MRA, a total of 67 percent believe President Obama and members of the U.S. House and Senate are putting politics above the best interests of the country. Closer to home, half of the people in Michigan say state lawmakers are also guilty of being too partisan. Only 22 percent feel the right amount partisanship is being displayed and 17 percent would like to see state politicians be even more partisan.

Republicans tend to get the blame more than Democrats in both the Congress and the Legislature, but the majority of voters are blaming both parties equally. Why is that, when President Obama has made it a point to reach across the aisle on all major legislation, and the Democrats have watered down both health care and the stimulus to try and win Republican votes? Not sure. But there is a lesson in there somewhere.

WXYZ has the best breakdown on this latest EPIC poll - they also ask about the state budget and taxes. The Freep is running a headline that claims "Michigan voters prefer cuts to higher taxes", but when you look at the question...

Governor Granholm and the State Legislature must balance the budget for next year by September 30th and eliminate a projected deficit. Which of the following statements best describes how the budget should be balanced?

26% By only cutting existing programs or employee wages or benefits, with no increase in state taxes;
17% By mostly cutting programs or employee wages and benefits, but also relying on some increases in state taxes;
27% By equally relying on cuts in programs or employee wages and benefits, and increasing state taxes;
12% By mostly increasing state taxes, but also relying on some cuts in programs or employee wages and benefits;
7% By only increasing state taxes and fees, with no further cuts in state programs
11% Undecided/Don’t know/Refused

... you find that 63% are OK with at least "some" increases in state taxes, which is about the same as an April EPIC poll (64%) that asked the same question. And interestingly enough, when you go back to the poll in February, you get basically the same breakdown (59% that time). In fact, it's almost uncanny how consistent the electorate has been on the question of balancing the budget. (and yes, they are using the same wording)

One last tidbit to highlight...

Thinking about the following political parties and groups that are getting involved in political issues these days, which group best reflects your views?

36% The Democratic Party
24% The Republican Party
17% The Tea Party movement
3% The Green Party
8% The Libertarian Party
4% Some other group
8% Undecided/Don’t know/Refused

Rather curious about the "some other group" answer myself, wondering if that could be the Socialists and/or the Communists. They are out there, although they don't receive any publicity whatsoever. Maybe if they start wearing funny costumes...