The New York Times’ Asinine Public Union Push-Poll

Today it’s going to be a huge headline that the American people are lining up behind the unions and against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker – because of a CBS/New York Times poll released last night.

The poll says sixty percent of U.S. adults said they somewhat or strongly oppose taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions, as Walker is seeking. And fifty-six percent somewhat or strongly opposed any plan to reduce pay or benefits of public sector workers, while 37 percent said they would favor such a move.

Such stark numbers will be thrown around as an indication that Walker is swimming against the tide and that GOP governors attempting to break up the cozy relationship between public employees and (Democrat) politicians are making a colossal mistake.

Except the poll, like everything else the New York Times does, is a propaganda stunt for the Left.

First, 20 percent of the respondents in the poll are union members or have a union member in their households. That’s almost double the national average. And 25 percent of the respondents said they or someone in their households are public sector employees.

Oh – and the poll sample was 36 percent Democrat and 26 percent Republican. That’s a ten-point spread at a time when more Americans identify with the GOP than with Democrats.

So it’s not a surprise that when the respondents were asked whether unions have too much influence, only 37 percent said yes. Some 19 percent said too little and 29 percent said their level of influence was about right.

Second, here’s how one of the money questions was asked…

If you HAD to choose ONE, which of the following would you be willing to do in order to reduce your STATE’S budget deficit   1. increase taxes, 2. decrease benefits of public employees like teachers or police officers, 3. decrease funding for roads and public transportation, OR 4. decrease funding for education?

That’s how the question was asked. They didn’t say “public employees,” they said cops and teachers. Nobody wants to cut benefits for cops and teachers. Mention the stiffs at the DMV and you’ll get a different story. So naturally, this was the result…

Increase taxes………………………………………………….40
Decrease benefits of public employees………………….22
Decrease funding for roads………………………………….20
Decrease funding for education…………………………….3
No state deficit (vol.)…………………………………………..1
DK/NA……………………………………………………………15

And here are a few questions the poll didn’t ask.

  • Do the respondents believe collective bargaining should be limited to wages but not benefits?
  • Were they asked if public service unions should have constraints on their bargaining power with respect to strikes or on work rules that are already covered by Civil Service laws?
  • Were they asked if public service unions should be prohibited from campaign contributions due to inherent conflicts of interests?

Nope. Nothing like that. Instead we got this…

In general, do you think the salaries and benefits of MOST public employees are too high for the work that they do, too low for the work that they do, or are their salaries and benefits about right for the work that they do?

Asked that question, 26 percent said too high, 25 too low and 36 just right.

Or this…

In order to reduce state budget deficits, do you favor cutting the pay or benefits of public employees, or do you oppose that? IF FAVOR OR OPPOSE: Do you favor/oppose that strongly or somewhat?

The opposers outnumber the favorers, 58 percent to 37.  Big shock there – 58 percent of Americans are uncomfortable saying they want somebody’s salary cut. Maybe if they’d asked whether public employees’ benefits and pay should be brought in line with the private sector average they’d get a different answer.

The Times wouldn’t do that, though.

It goes on. Read the poll and you’ll see how slanted the questions really are. Its results fly in the face of other polls which tell a completely different story. But watch how much play the poll gets in the legacy media today and how it’s spun.

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