Breaking: Voters Prefer Free Stuff to Higher Taxes, Lower Spending

Stan Collender writes that Chris Christie is paying for his steely determination to cut spending:


This has to be disconcerting to congressional Republicans: As this story by Elise Young at Bloomberg shows, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the darling of those who want to cut spending and not increase taxes, is in serious political trouble in his state because of his willingness to cut spending and not increase taxes.

To certain extent this is anything but surprising. As Bruce and I have talked about almost incessantly here at CG&G since the start of the year, polls have consistently shown that, while a majority wants "spending" reduced when you talk about it in a generic sense, a majority doesn't support cutting anything specific other than foreign aid and gets angry when actual cuts are made.

I'm not sure this proves as much as Collender seems to imply.  Voters get mad at the guy who has to reconcile falling revenues and rising spending during a down economy.  We know that people are down on Christie.  Do we know that they would have been less down on him if he'd raised taxes radically and kept spending intact?  I don't think we do.  Rather, I think we'd be seeing a string of articles from Republicans saying that this proves how tax hikes are political death.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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