CBS poll: 60% oppose stripping any collective bargaining rights from public workers

posted at 9:24 pm on February 28, 2011 by Allahpundit

Doesn’t surprise me in the least.

Americans oppose weakening the bargaining rights of public employee unions by a margin of nearly two to one: 60 percent to 33 percent. While a slim majority of Republicans favored taking away some bargaining rights, they were outnumbered by large majorities of Democrats and independents who said they opposed weakening them. Those surveyed said they opposed, 56 percent to 37 percent, cutting the pay or benefits of public employees to reduce deficits, breaking down along similar party lines. A majority of respondents who have no union members living in their households opposed both cuts in pay or benefits and taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

Governors in both parties have been making the case that public workers are either overpaid or have overly generous health and pension benefits. But 61 percent of those polled — including just over half of Republicans — said they thought the salaries and benefits of most public employees were either “about right” or “too low” for the work they do.

Fully 62 percent of independents (and 70 percent of Democrats) oppose weakening collective bargaining. As usual, the question provides no background on PEUs and why they present a unique problem for state budgets, especially when there’s a Democrat in the governor’s office:

On the other hand, the question about cutting public workers’ pay does explicitly mention state budget deficits — and there’s still heavy majority support for workers:

A near majority (49 percent) also supports letting cops and firefighters retire after 25 years with full pensions even if they’re in their 40s — which, in some cases for people of average lifespans, would mean more pay during retirement than while they were on the job. CBS, which co-sponsored the poll, asked Chris Christie for reaction. Quote:

Christie, who has been critical of teachers’ unions in his state, said the collective bargaining story was “entertaining,” though he said it wasn’t an issue in his state or most states. He then told a CBS News reporter that he was “sure you worded the poll in a way that kept [the story] going.”

“I’m the governor, I think I’ve got a better idea on public opinion in my state than CBS News does to tell you the truth,” he said. “If not, Katie Couric should run for governor of New Jersey.”

That’s cute, and I’m sure some will quibble with the sample (36D/26R/36I and 19L/37M/36C), but even if you tweaked it to add a few more Republicans, these numbers wouldn’t shift dramatically. And why should they? Remember this graph from Pew’s poll on America’s budget crunch a few weeks ago?

Up and down the line, not a single item draws a clear majority in favor of cuts. And what about this one?

Even tea partiers go wobbly when it comes to cutting spending on education and Social Security. For whatever reason — misinformation or simple denial — the public isn’t remotely serious yet when it comes to making painful choices on spending. When asked if budget cuts are a good thing in the abstract, they’re plenty supportive, but start identifying specific programs and industries that’ll have to make do with less and those cold feet start turning icy. If you can’t even get 50 percent to say they’re prepared to cut foreign aid, how on earth will you get 50 percent to support cuts to the “working man” in the form of public employees?

I don’t know what it’ll take to build popular support for greater austerity. Maybe nothing. Maybe we’re going to have to elect a bunch of Republicans who are fully prepared to sacrifice their careers by taking tough but necessary votes on the budget. Here’s Christie from yesterday’s “Face the Nation” gently reminding viewers that collective bargaining rights aren’t inscribed on the Mt. Sinai tablets.


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The unions are cleverly framing the debate of Public Sector Union abuses vrs Private Sector Unions. They want to ask the question, “Do you believe that all Unions should be allowed to collectively bargain?” rather than, “Should the Public Sector Unions be restricted in collective bargaining?”

By putting both Public and Private Unions under the same blanket, you can easily get people to respond ‘yes’ to the question – “Do you believe in collective bargaining?”

Those, like the Governor of Wisconsin, who are trying to restrict the economic power of the Public Unions should carefully make the distinction that they are not trying to limit Private Unions.

If you let your opponent define the debate, you will lose.

Uniblogger on March 1, 2011 at 9:26 AM

I not only don’t believe the poll results, I question both the timing and the intent. C-BS stopped being relevant on my news radar a long time ago.

Even *if* true, that doesn’t change the current political/financial targets on the Tea Party Conservative X and Y wing fighters. One way or another, we have to take out that Obama/Reid/Pelolsi/Ruling Class/Establishment Republican Death Star before its too late.

And yes, I have had coffee this morning. Why do you ask? ;-)

itzWicks on March 1, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Who do the taxpayers have negotiating on their behalf? Nobody. Their elected representatives.
angryed on February 28, 2011 at 10:38 PM

ernesto on March 1, 2011 at 9:38 AM

I don’t know what it’ll take to build popular support for greater austerity.

MAKE the liberals, establishment cowards and fiscal RINOs defend their lying.

Do what Christie and others are doing. Tell it straight. Man the f up and tell people we need to address entitlements and if you want to vote for the guy lying to you? I don’t know what to tell you.

The numbers will never be more on our side than they are now for austerity. Well actually that’s not true, they’ll continue to be more and more on our side as we plunge into debt. All the more reason.

Dash on March 1, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Bull. S–t.

perries on March 1, 2011 at 10:02 AM

The MSM is a union shop.

perries on March 1, 2011 at 10:03 AM

ernesto on March 1, 2011 at 9:38 AM

…And those elected representatives are simultaneously negotiating with the unions.
…And those unions are consistently donating large sums of money to their campaigns.

You can’t represent two opposing groups of people simultaneously … at least not well. …especially when one of those groups is funnelling tens of thousands of dollars into your coffers.

I know you know that. Everyone here knows you know that. You are deliberately obfuscating the debate.

JSGreg3 on March 1, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Who do the taxpayers have negotiating on their behalf? Nobody. Their elected representatives.
angryed on February 28, 2011 at 10:38 PM

ernesto on March 1, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Well Wisconsin decided they didn’t like the way these people were negotiating so they elected people to give taxpayers more control over their own money and how it’s spent.

darwin on March 1, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Humping this BS poll for all it’s worth…muddying the waters, diluting the message and undermining support…can’t beat a RINO!

winston on March 1, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Liberals whisteling past the graveyard

Bevan on March 1, 2011 at 10:28 AM

As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, the problem with these polls is that most people don’t know what a “public union” is unless you explain it to them. (I would guess a fair number even confuse it with “civil unions.”)

When you do explain what a public union is, then you find support falls to around 30%.

TallDave on March 1, 2011 at 10:52 AM

These polls have become ridiculous both for content and bias. The bottom line is JFK let public employees unionize in 1962 and this is the result. Obama is a union President bought and paid for by the unions. Why doen`t he get his left wing ass in gear and let the Federal Govt emplyees organize. The answer is it that it would be a disaster just like the state, cities and municipalities and he knows it so he should just mind his damn business and let each state run their own finances or else put his actions where his mele mouth is

HAGGS99 on March 1, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Squish, squish, squish. That’s Allahpundit.
Vince on February 28, 2011 at 11:02 PM

No. ed is the squishy. allah is a greenwich village hillary voter.

peacenprosperity on March 1, 2011 at 10:55 AM

ernesto on March 1, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Whatever happened to Russ Feingold???

Roy Rogers on March 1, 2011 at 11:27 AM

I’m throwing down a B.S. Penalty flag! I wouldn’t trust that poll from CBS.

G. on March 1, 2011 at 11:34 AM

I do not know what thread I am on…

betsyz on February 28, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Some of us are wondering what planet you’re on.

zoyclem on March 1, 2011 at 11:36 AM

I’m throwing down a B.S. Penalty flag! I wouldn’t trust that poll from CBS.

G. on March 1, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Dan Rather personally vouches for it’s “accuracy”.

Roy Rogers on March 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

I bet the numbers would look different if you ask the same people do they want their state/local and property taxes to increase because of the collective bargaining deals.

I really wish these governors would tell the people if they don’t get rid of collective bargaining, then they’ll be increasing their taxes by X amount. Also, break it down to what each household would be paying. People never seem to understand the math until you make it personal.

moonsbreath on March 1, 2011 at 12:02 PM

I call B.S. on the poll. It’s not logical.

Virginia Shanahan on March 1, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Do the people who were polled even know what collective bargaining is?

milwife88 on March 1, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Do the people who were polled even know what collective bargaining is?

milwife88 on March 1, 2011 at 12:26 PM

They didn’t even know where they were being bussed to!

Roy Rogers on March 1, 2011 at 12:36 PM

All polls that don’t have an either/or choice are meaningless.

Question: would you prefer to cut public employee bargaining power or raise your property taxes 34% and have your medicare benefits slashed considerably?

Don L on March 1, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Hot Air and NYT”s giving it their all with Bogus polls!!!

winston on March 1, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Don L on March 1, 2011 at 12:40 PM

“Present”

Roy Rogers on March 1, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Don L on March 1, 2011 at 12:40 PM
“Present”

Roy Rogers on March 1, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Golly, I used to hunt (back in the late 40′s) with a kid named Leroy Rogers. Unlike Obama, he’d never vote “Present.”

Don L on March 1, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Golly, I used to hunt (back in the late 40′s) with a kid named Leroy Rogers. Unlike Obama, he’d never vote “Present.”

Don L on March 1, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Just emulating the Community Agitator in Chief.

Obama has officially rescinded his calls for “civility.” Union thugs are “targeting” citizens who ask too many questions.

“When in doubt, empty the magazine”

Roy Rogers on March 1, 2011 at 12:52 PM

CBS poll of public union members: 60% oppose stripping any collective bargaining rights from public workers

(Corrected obvious omission in headline)

landlines on March 1, 2011 at 1:02 PM

landlines on March 1, 2011 at 1:02 PM

It’s the union way, or else.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm_Fl3AszuU

Roy Rogers on March 1, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Do people just not understand that government unions are an anti-trust violation? They have no competition to wory about – they are a MONOPOLY…. as an added bonus, they get better benefits and salaries than the taxpayers who foot the bill. How cool is that!

HomeoftheBrave on March 1, 2011 at 1:12 PM

I haven’t forgotten how See-BS and other DNC shills manipulated and fabricated polls to suggest that Clintoon’s (having been caught boinking the hired help) popularity actually was increasing and hinting that if he’d groped more of them his poll numbers would go even higher. All part of a misinformation effort which included moveon-org funded by you-know-who.

Just think of See-BS as being the DNC’s equivalent of that entire brothel Teddy rented.

viking01 on March 1, 2011 at 1:17 PM

BTW It would be interesting to hear Bernard Goldberg’s views on this latest media ploy. (i.e. author of the books titled Bias and Arrogance)

viking01 on March 1, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Rush just spent an hour on these union polls and calling them all suspect.

karenhasfreedom on March 1, 2011 at 1:58 PM

— misinformation or simple denial — the public isn’t remotely serious yet when it comes to making painful choices on spending

exactly, this is america, we are not a serious people

I don’t know what it’ll take to build popular support for greater austerity

You dont build support for it, eventually our creditors stop lending and we go cold turkey like greece. Austerity for the US will come from foreign creditors who are serious. Not from our idiotic political class and polity

snoopicus on March 1, 2011 at 2:36 PM

CBS then conducted a poll of how many Americans still believe that CBS is a viable source for news and opinion.

The results were a dramatic and emphatic “Eh nope.” by the one guy they asked.

ChipDWood on March 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM

I don’t know what it’ll take to build popular support for greater austerity. Maybe nothing. Maybe we’re going to have to elect a bunch of Republicans who are fully prepared to sacrifice their careers by taking tough but necessary votes on the budget

This might be true. The Democrats were willing to do it over Obamacare weren’t they?

Terrye on March 1, 2011 at 5:03 PM

All unions should be under antitrust laws…period.
and if anyone believes this poll you are a Marxist.

lilium on March 1, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Maybe it’s time someone defines (for the public’s benefit) “collective bargaining rights”. I’m not so sure what it is. I think most of the public believes that stripping unions of collective bargaining rights means the the government can dictate whatever salary or contract they see fit.

I recall from my political science class that some polls can be skewed because a certain group will participate en masse to make a point. I have hard time believing that 60% of the nation would stand by the unions after last year’s election.

Mad Kimchi on March 1, 2011 at 7:17 PM

Every gripes about the debt, until it comes time to deal with it. Then we get NIMBY-itis.

Just once, I would LOVE to hear from any of these jokers HOW they think we’re gonna pay this off if we not only don’t cut spending, but increase spending on stuff.

Good think I ain’t holding my breath for this one, though.

Badger State Dave on March 2, 2011 at 3:27 AM

Every line of public expenditure has its own constituency, and Democrats are committed to the “coalition” concept – “I’ll protect your revenue stream, and you protect mine.”

At some point the adults have to take over. If not now, then when? If not us, then whom?

In my lifetime we’ve had Presidents of two extremes on public opinion: Bill Clinton, who even poll-tested his potential vacation sites, and Ronald Reagan, who did what he thought was right and good for the country, the polls be damned.

Which sort do we need in this fiscal crisis?

Adjoran on March 2, 2011 at 4:48 AM

So, if you’re not in a union; but you’re working in a union shop, or at a job that union people do; they union should be able to take some of your wages for “representation” that they then donate to Dem Politicians without any consent from you?

This is part of the “collective bargaining” that is so necessary to keep?

I wonder if 60% of people would let me garnish their wages by a little bit for spending that I want to do without their input…

I mean they’d hate to lose rights wouldn’t they? So if having someone take your wages from you for reasons you don’t approve of is a “right” … I’m willing to do my part and spend your money without your input.

But that’s just because I’m such a nice guy.

gekkobear on March 2, 2011 at 1:15 PM

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