It's been over a week since my last post. This blogging thing isn't as easy as it looks. Maybe if I click on that "Monetize" tab I can figure out how to quit my job and...
The Tea Party movement has reminded me of the anti-tax movement of the late 1970s. A Roper survey from July 1978 asked about measures to limit property taxes (which were popular), and then had some interesting follow-up questions. One asked “if the property tax were cut to 1% of market value . . . Do you think tax increases or service cuts would be necessary, or that needed services could be maintained without resorting to service cuts or tax increases?”
A majority (53%) said that tax increases or service cuts would NOT be needed. Those people were asked “Do you think that the government would find the needed money somewhere else, or that they would cut costs by eliminating waste, inefficiency, and needless programs?” 28% said they'd find the money somewhere else, 59% that they'd eliminate waste—the rest said some of both or weren't sure.
26% said that service cuts or tax increases would be necessary. They were asked which they thought the government would do—18% said raise taxes, 60% said cut services, and the rest weren't sure or said that they'd do some of both.
So for a lot of people, it seems that tax cuts were not a way to stop the welfare state, but a way to get it more cheaply. I haven't seen any similar questions asked recently.
The 20% who were not sure on the first question weren't asked any follow-up.