Yes, BUT, PPIC has asked a similar question before and and got worse results: May 2006: higher taxes and more services (55%), lower taxes and fewer services (38%), don’t know (7%) Jan. 2006: higher taxes and more services (61%), lower taxes and fewer services (31%), don’t know (8%) The low was Nov. 2003, as we were certifying our recall of Gov. Davis: higher taxes and more services (38%), lower taxes and fewer services (54%), don’t know (8%) And last fall, they asked a similar question: In general, which of the following statements do you agree with moreÃ¢â?¬â??I’d rather pay higher taxes and have the state government spend more money on infrastructure projects; or: I’d rather pay lower taxes and have the state government spend less money on infrastructure projects? (PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and the Future, September 2006) Results: 44% want higher taxes and more money for infrastructure projects 47% want lower taxes and less money for infrastructure projects 9% don’t know And last summer they asked: Do you think the people in state government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it? (PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and the Future, August 2006) Results: 58% said “a lot ” 35% said “some” 4% said “don’t waste very much” 3% don’t know In these polls, Californians were never asked, “Would you like to have lower taxes and higher services?” I think all they might be saying when they advocate higher taxes and more services is that they want their roads and other basic infrastructure to work, and they don’t know of any other way to do it except higher taxes. We don’t need to puke until Californians poll overwhelmingly in favor of “higher taxes and fewer services.”
Skaidra Smith-Heisters is a policy analyst at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.