Californians conflicted on budget issues
November 21, 2010
Californians simultaneously object to increasing taxes in order to pare the state’s massive budget deficit and cutting spending on programs that make up 85 percent of the state’s general fund obligations, according to a new Los Angeles Times/USC Poll. [LATimes]
Californian’s belief that the state deficit – estimated last week at nearly $25 billion – can be balanced through trimming waste and inefficiencies rather than cutting programs. Even though tens of billions that have been cut from the state budget in recent years, just a quarter of California voters believed that services need to be cut in order to square the budget.
Voters have “a great bias toward spending cuts” rather than tax hikes, said Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, who co-directed the poll for The Times and the USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences to the Los Angeles Times. “But when you get into it, they don’t want to cut the areas that matter.”
One in four voters favored trimming elementary and high schools, which make up almost 42 percent of state general fund spending.
Just over one-third approved of cuts to state colleges and universities, or, separately, to state-financed health care for children or the poor.
More than 70 percent of voters favored chopping monies from the prison system.