Survey Finds Deep Distrust of State Governments, Revealing Fiscal Conundrum

Publication: The Washington Post

Author: Michael A. Fletcher

10/06/2010 - Residents of five of the nation's most fiscally distressed states harbor a deep distrust of state government, which they view as too big, too wasteful and too quick to pass their costs along to future generations, according to a new survey.

But the survey, released Wednesday by the Pew Center on the States and the Public Policy Institute of California, reveals a conundrum: While residents reject the idea of new taxes and eagerly embrace budget cuts to solve state fiscal problems, they worry that the reductions would harm vital services.

"There is a disconnect between what the public wants and what is needed to resolve the states' fiscal crisis," said Susan Urahn, the Pew Center on the States' managing director. "Policymakers will have to make unpopular budget decisions to help their states fully recover."


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