A major union representing government employees claims that its recent survey shows a "strong majority" of Americans feel that wealthy people should pay more in taxes in order to prevent cuts in government services.
In the survey conducted for the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) by Ipsos Public Affairs, 670 (67%) of the 1000 adults polled, agreed with the statement that, "Congress should raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans before cutting funding for public services such as food and drug safety and border security."
In addition, 77% said they believed "wealthy Americans should pay their fair share towards deficit reduction and economic recovery."
"Some political rhetoric would have you believe that Americans today have an 'austerity at any cost' view of the federal budget," said NTEU president Colleen Kelley in a press release. "The fact is that most Americans, when asked about specific services, believe the government should invest more in providing such services."
Increase Spending? Spending on some government programs should actually be increased, according the survey. Programs respondents most wanted to see expanded included assistance for veterans (86%), border security (72%), food safety (69%) and nuclear safety programs (58%).
"It is clear that a super-majority of Americans understand and value the work carried out by federal employees and believe in a balanced approach to federal budgeting," noted Kelley.
While respondents to the survey included Republicans, Democrats and Independents, political party affiliation seemed to have little impact on the results.
"Ranging from 67 to 91 percent, Republicans want the same amount or more resources and manpower for food safety, border security, veteran's assistance, nuclear safety and ensuring safety of drug and medical devices," noted the survey results.
"Republicans are often portrayed as supporting across-the-board spending cuts; the fact is that in every area respondents who affiliated with the GOP supported preserving or increasing the amount of employees and resources providing vital public services."
The NTEU also pointed out that the survey showed only 40% of Americans were aware that federal government employees had already contributed $75 billion over 10 years towards deficit reduction and economic recovery through a two-year pay freeze and increases in retirement contributions for new employees.