‘Hold the line’

Nevada politicians and labor leaders may want to pay special heed to a new survey by a Democratic pollster which found that voters across a number of states overwhelmingly embrace reforming public-sector salaries and benefits.

Douglas Schoen, a pollster for the Clinton administration, talked to residents in 10 states and found that most voters oppose tax hikes as a means of helping states stabilize their finances. Instead, they favor spending restrictions and salary freezes for government workers, along with forcing public employees to contribute more to their own retirements and health care costs.

“The top priorities for resolving current fiscal issues are to cut government spending and to ask for greater sacrifice from current public employees,” writes Mr. Schoen in a Wall Street Journal op-ed this week.

In addition, Mr. Schoen writes, “American voters endorse a very specific agenda to … hold the line on taxes wherever and whenever possible.”

For years, progressives and their allies in the government unions have pushed the notion that those who oppose ever-increasing taxes are part of some crazy fringe cabal in American politics. In fact, as Mr. Schoen’s results clearly show, they are firmly in the mainstream — indeed, firmly in the majority.

Nevada was not one of the states polled. But the 10 states were by no means hotbeds of right-wing conservatism and included union strongholds such as Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois and New York.

For too long, our elected officials have kowtowed to the public-sector unions, which in turn work to keep their friends in office. Perhaps the winds have shifted.

Mr. Schoen’s findings should give pause to the government union officials who treat taxpayers like an always brimming ATM — and to the politicians who abet them.

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