ON-Lion Letter
"Americans believe that bold action to restrict spending is necessary to stabilize the finances of state government," Douglas E. Schoen writes in a September Wall Street Journal op-ed summarizing the results of 10 polls in individual states for the Manhattan Institute's Center for State and Local Leadership (CSLL).

"[V]oters strongly favor measures to pare the compensation of current and future public employees.  They strongly oppose higher taxes," according to Schoen, one of the most-influential Democratic campaign consultants for more than 30 years.

"Specifically, over three-quarters (78%) say their state faced a budget crisis this year, and 68% say that the crisis was resolved with spending cuts," he continues.  "Overwhelmingly they blame politicians for creating and exacerbating the problems:  48% say 'elected state officials made careless and self-serving decisions,' while only 6% say 'state governments did not tax enough.'

"The top priorities for resolving current fiscal issues are to cut government spending (47%) and to ask for greater sacrifice from current public employees, by having them contribute more towards their benefits (31%).  By almost two-to-one, they think that current public employees should have to contribute more toward their pension benefits because of budget problems."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports the Manhattan Institute's CSLL.  Wisconsin was one of the 10 states surveyed by Schoen.  The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, which is also supported by Bradley, released the Wisconsin results.
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