HARTFORD – Connecticut residents support spending cuts pushed by Republicans – not tax increases – to balance the state budget, according to the recently released Qunnipiac University poll. By a 67-23 percent margin poll respondents said spending cuts and not tax increases should be used to balance the budget and wipe out the projected $8 billion deficit over the next two years.
“This is a clear indication that the public doesn’t want tax increases when we’re in the middle of an economic recession. I have consistently urged spending decreases to deal with our fiscal crisis and so far we have had little to no action from the people who control the legislature, state Rep. John Rigby said.
“The longer we wait, the worse the deficit grows,” he said.
The poll shows that Democrats are almost evenly divided on the question with 41 percent favoring tax increases and 47 percent pushing for spending cuts. The data shows that 89 percent of Republicans want spending cuts and 72 percent of unaffiliated voters support cuts to spending to offset the deficit.
“Connecticut can’t afford tax increases at a time when people are losing their jobs and revenue across the board is disappearing,’’ Rigby said. “I know people in the Northwest Corner can’t.”
Nearly 70 percent of those polled said that proposed budget cuts, including elimination of two dozen state agencies, are either appropriate or that they do not go far enough, Rigby said.
The Q-Poll also showed that:
- At least 82 percent or respondents said now is the time to shrink state government as Republicans have urged for months.
- 59 percent said the state of Connecticut’s workforce should be decreased even if it means layoffs or a reduction in services.
- 61 percent said no tax increases should be considered, compared to 36 percent who said some taxes hikes should be considered.
Since last spring Republicans have called for budget adjustments to account for the diminishing revenues and proposed reforms on everything from printing costs to unnecessary and costly improvements to the Capitol, a rollback of legislators’ pay and personnel reductions.
“Proposals from my colleges and me and been ignored in the House chamber. Residents of this state, based on the Qunnipiac poll, understand what’s at stake and they want reform,” Rigby said. “It’s time this legislature listen.”