The world knows that California is in trouble. Californians themselves? Not so much. Unemployment is hovering in double digits, but 35% of fellow residents of the Golden State believe that these are the good times. Albeit, that’s just 27% of likely voters. The more poor, the less educated, the more liberal and the younger the person polled, the more optimistic she is. Hmmm… I wonder why.
The voters here enthusiastically approve extravagant spending projects like the SF/LA speed train. High taxes on a select few sends the wealthy out of state, and yet another tax is on the horizon. To avoid spending cuts on K-12 education Governor Brown proposed a sales and income tax. A new poll by Public Policy Institute of California shows wide support for the plan:
The poll found 68 percent of likely voters – including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents – support the proposed initiative, which the administration estimates would generate about $35 billion over five years. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office has projected the measure would raise about $7 billion less.
Support indicated by the poll does not mean Brown will have an easy time getting the initiative passed, however, said Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the institute.
“It will continue to be a question of: Can the governor continue to develop broad-based support, or will broad-based opposition develop that will question elements of his plan that may not be viewed very positively by voters?” Baldassare said. “It’s very easy for people to change their minds about initiatives if they find something they don’t like.”
According to the survey, the governor’s tax proposal is supported by 85 percent of Democrats polled, 53 percent of Republicans polled and 65 percent of independents polled. This survey follows another from the institute in December that also showed strong support for Brown’s plan. The latest numbers show an increase in support of eight percentage points among likely voters. (Bold is mine, — ed.)
On the other hand:
— 55 percent of likely voters believe state government could cut spending and provide the same level of services.
That number probably includes all Republicans and a few independents who don’t believe the Governor’s plan is a good idea. Or not. They might call themselves Republicans, but on fiscal issues, the issues that are supposed to be on everyone’s mind in 2012, they are liberal. Or maybe they (we) are suckers because people accuse us of hating kids when we resist education spending increases (oh, the righteous bullying of local mommy chatrooms), never mind that the kids will end up paying for our deficits.
In other news, Obama’s approval among likely voters is 49%. An equal number disapproves of the job the President is doing. He should try spending more.