If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What America Thinks: Keep the Change

Americans say they want change, but do they want to pay for it? We decided to find out what America thinks.

Global warming is regularly in the news, and 65% of voters consider it a serious problem. But 41% don't want to pay any more in taxes and utility costs to stop it. Similarly, most Americans think the overall environment is getting worse, but 46% aren't willing to pay a cent more to help clean it up.

Americans consistently rate the public schools poorly, but when it comes to funding those schools, 50% aren’t willing to pay anything more. Most already think they're not getting their money's worth, and only 35% think more money will make a difference.

On top of those who don't want to pay more to fight global warming, improve the environment or put more money into the schools, another one-in-four - in every case - are willing to pay only $100 more per year. That means that in every one of these so-called problem areas, roughly three-out-of-four aren't willing to pay much, if anything, to do something about it.

There's a similar pattern when it comes to new proposals that sound good on the surface but are likely to have a hefty price tag. President Obama has proposed free community college and mandatory pre-kindergarten, for example, and Americans think that sounds pretty good - as long as it doesn't cost them anything.

So, what will Americans pay more for? Well, 41% are willing to pay more for fast food to raise the minimum wage for workers, but 45% are not.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.