The next governor of the great state of California should take note: Californians prefer budget cuts over tax increases as a way of dealing with the Golden State's perennial budget deficit (now at $20 billion).
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A Field Poll released this week found that 50 percent of state voters prefer cuts over tax increases as a way to eliminate the deficit. Only 13 percent prefer tax increases. About 29 percent would like to see a mix of budget cuts and tax increases.
Although it has been cited as a reason for the state's annual budget mess, voters (47 percent versus 43 percent against) want to keep the two-thirds "supermajority" votes required to pass a state budget.
Interestingly, voters also would approve (51 to 37) of a supermajority vote requirement to amend the state constitution via the easy-to-pass ballot-initiative process that has often been blamed for tying Sacramento's hands when it comes to shifting spending priorities.
People prefer cuts on a statewide level, but when it comes down to it, if programs they like are threatened with the budget ax, they'll complain to their local assemblyman or state senator. It's a nice attitude to have when you're talking to a poll taker, but rarely does it work out in the my-backyard reality of state politics. Thus, cuts remain illusive. Red ink is our constant companion.