The Dayton Daily News reports on a new poll, and I use that word loosely, commissioned by a coalition of human services groups in Ohio and conducted by a far left-wing polling group called Hart Research Associates.
How left-wing? Well, their clients include all far-left Democrats and left-wing political organizations like Emily's List.
Unfortunately, the DDN is reporting this story as a poll "showing support for higher taxes".
Now, I'll agree that, technically speaking, this is a poll so far as they called Ohioans and asked them questions and published their answers. But so far as accurately framing the issue, they couldn't have done a worse job.
If given a choice between cutting services for the sick, hungry and abused or raising taxes on businesses and wealthy families, Ohioans are all for boosting taxes.Push poll, anyone?
It's simply intellectually dishonest to present this issue as an either/or in the way they have characterized it. Are those the only options?
Unfortunately, the writer of the DDN piece refuses to highlight any other alternatives. Here's a hint, DDN.
But 3BP did come up with a few of their own poll questions that Hart is more than welcome to use for their next joke....er, poll.
- Would you prefer raising taxes on the super wealthy, or would you rather watch a room full of puppies die a slow, agonizing death?
- Would you rather rip your fingernails out with a spork, or slightly raise fees...er, taxes on Nazi sympathizers?
- Do you prefer increasing the tax on the pollution-creating, Obama-hating, AIG-supporting super wealthy, or slowly de-evolving into a sub-species, slime-oozing ball of goo?
Now, what is the motivation for commissioning such a poll? Clearly, the desired result was a story that said, "Ohioans want higher taxes".
But we need to start with the premise that, without considering other variables, Ohioans prefer lower taxes to higher ones. Also, we need to consider that higher taxes under a Strickland Administration are altogether certain to happen. The question is when.
As Tom Suddes of the Dispatch wrote on Sunday:
If Strickland tries to raise taxes in 2009 to fund a budget for the two years starting July 1, he risks losing his re-election bid. [...] Trouble is, what Ohioans don't pay in 2009 and 2010, they might have to pay in 2011. That doesn't help Republicans in 2010, but it's perfect for Democrats.Basically, he states if there isn't a massive change in how things are run, taxes must be raised in Ohio. If not now, it must be done after Kasich and Strickland face-off in 2010.
So we know Gov. Strickland is trying to hold off from raising taxes. He's trying to maintain an image of being fiscally responsible with Ohio's budget -- and moreover, being responsible with taxpayer dollars. And that includes not taking more of it.
If a perception is created in Ohio that its citizens are ok with raising taxes, and its Governor is able to play the good moderate by putting it off despite Ohio's so-called willingness to do so, he is able to stick to the center in 2010 against a candidate known best for his fiscal sensibilities.
Strickland is smart, but hopefully the rest of Ohio's media doesn't fall for this ruse.