Most Americans see the deteriorating budget situations in many states as a problem that the states themselves – rather than the federal government – should solve. But when it comes to specific proposals to balance state budgets, there is more opposition than support for each option asked about – particularly cuts in funding for education and public safety programs.
The latest Pew Research/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, sponsored by SHRM, which was conducted June 24-27 among 1,001 adults, finds that just 26% support the federal government giving money to states to help them meet their budgets if this were to mean higher federal budget deficits. Most Americans (58%) say the states should fix their own budget problems by raising taxes or cutting services. These opinions are little changed from 2003.
But when asked about possible ways of balancing their state's budget, large majorities oppose cutting public primary and secondary education funding (73%) and funding for police, fire and other public safety programs (71%). Nearly as many (65%) oppose cutting health care services provided by the state or local government.
Raising taxes also is generally rejected as a way to balance their state's budget; 58% oppose that option. And while there is more support for cuts in funding to maintain roads and transportation systems than for the other options, slightly more oppose (50%) than favor (43%) reducing transportation funding.
Read the full report, Public Rejects Variety Of Options For Fixing State Budgets on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.