Utahns don't favor the budget compromise President Bush and congressional leaders have been pushing the past several days, the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.
They especially don't like the idea of raising the gasoline tax, according to pollster Dan Jones & Associates, but they do go along with the suggested increases on liquor, cigarettes and luxury items likes boats and furs.Jones found 40 percent of Utahns don't like the budget compromise. The poll was taken Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the results coming in before the House voted down the package early Friday morning.
Thirty-four percent said they favored the compromise, which would increase taxes on gasoline, liquor, cigarettes and luxury items while cutting Medicare benefits to the elderly.
Twenty-four percent didn't have an opinion on the compromise or didn't know much about it, Jones found.
In a separate question, Jones asked what kind of tax increases people would support in an effort to balance the budget. He found that 70 percent of Utahns were against raising the gasoline tax.
Congressmen say the gasoline tax hike and Medicare cuts are the most unpopular elements of the compromise plan.
Not surprisingly, 74 percent of Utahns support raising the liquor tax and 77 percent favor raising the cigarette tax, Jones found. Many Utahns are of the LDS faith, which bans the use of liquor and tobacco.
And Utahns don't mind raising taxes on luxury items, either, another part of the president's compromise. Seventy percent said a luxury tax was all right by them, with only 24 percent opposing such a tax.
The survey also asked if increases in several other taxes would be acceptable. Those taxes weren't part of Bush's compromise package.
A majority - 53 percent - said they'd accept a foreign oil import fee, something that has been much talked about but wasn't part of Bush's compromise.
However, other possible tax increases weren't favored: 55 percent of Utahns don't want a national sales tax and a whopping 82 percent don't want an increase in the federal income tax.
A budget compromise is needed quickly, or automatic cuts in federal programs will be triggered by the Gramm-Rudman budget deficit reduction law.