Public Says: Give Public Employees Their Rights, Tax the Rich

| by AFL-CIO

More info out now on the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that we reported yesterday shows 62 percent of the public believe it’s unacceptable to eliminate state employees’ collective-bargaining rights. That’s  nearly double the 33 percent who think it’s acceptable.

The poll also shows that 77 percent of respndents belive public employees should have the same collective-bargaining rights when it comes to health care, pensions and other benefits as union employees who work for private companies.

A large number (73 percent) also had a positive view of teachers, one of the groups Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and others are trying to blame for the state budget crises.  

The poll shows significantly more Americans (37 percent) believe creating jobs is the most important issue for Congress and President Obama, not the federal deficit (22 percent).

Americans have strong views on who should pay to fix the federal deficit: They say the rich should do so. By far, the most popular solutions for dealing with the deficit included placing a surtax on federal income taxes for those who make more than $1 million per year (81 percent), eliminating spending on earmarks (78 percent), eliminating funding for weapons systems the Defense Department says aren’t necessary (76 percent) and eliminating tax credits for oil and gas industries (74 percent). House Republicans this week voted against eliminating taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil.

The public aiso says it’s strongly opposed to cutting funds for Medicaid (32 percent said it was acceptable) or cutting Medicare (23 percent); cutting funding for education (22 percent); and cutting funding for Social Security (22 percent).

You can read the full poll here.