Pension Crisis

78 Percent of Americans Say Voters Should Get to Vote on Government Employee Benefit Increases


The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds that nearly 8 in 10 Americans think that the public should be allowed to vote on increases to public employees pensions and benefits. Support is largely non-partisan with 73 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of independents, and 80 percent of Republicans favoring such votes.

Solid majorities of both public (61%) and private (82%) sector workers also favor allowing the public to vote on such increases. Nevertheless, as one might expect, public employees themselves are more opposed to such a proposal. Indeed government workers are more than twice as likely as private sector workers to oppose allowing the public vote on public pension increases (37 to 16 percent). Find more discussion of what the public thinks about public pension reform here.

The Reason-Rupe national telephone poll, executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, conducted live interviews with 1003 adults on cell phones (501) and landlines (502) January 29-February 2, 2015. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.8%. Full poll results and methodology can be found here, including poll toplines (pdf) and crosstabs (xls).

NEXT: Social Media Censorship Gaining New Ground in U.K., France

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Unfortunately, something like 80% of the voters work for the government…
    (I keed…)

    1. But at least that amount is paid by the government in some fashion.

    2. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $12600 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.

  2. 78 Percent of Americans Say Voters Should Get to Vote on Govt Employee Benefit Increases Decreases

    Fixed that for you

  3. When was the last time voters made the right choice?

    1. Justin Amash election/reelection was recent!

    2. Most importantly… What did the millenials think on the topic?

      1. They were polled *hard and fast*

  4. I’m sorry, but those 78% are idiots or they haven’t thought things through. National referenda are a horrible idea.

    They lead to a tyranny of the majority and the all-but-certain destruction of most liberties we enjoy.

    How about we just hold our congresspeople/senators/president accountable for oversight and remove them when they fail in their duties? Is that too novel a concept for America?

    1. In other news, 51% of Americans (a majority) think they should get to vote on how much higher the top 49%’s tax rate should be raised.

      1. How about the alumni of THE Ohio State University voting on who should start the season as the starting QB?

        BTW, you may not want to read this, but I have changed my mind and now think that Tom Terrific is the best QB in NFL history. Not because of the Super Bowl win, but because his overall regular season performance, combined with his postseason successes, are unmatched.

        I did not change my mind because of all the grief I got here (H&R) and here (Massholia) for touting Peyton Manning.

        1. He probably is.

        2. i would speculate that the fans of OSU would do much better than the alums, although all choices are great.

          1. One choice is great (Barrett), one is unproven (Jones) over the grind of a season and one is not a very good quarterback but is a gritty competitor and athlete (Miller).

            With the staff around them, however, any, or all, of the three will stand out next season.

            1. So how long do they go before these wins are vacated by the NCAA? O/U 3 years, at which point Meyer gets “sick” again and moves on.

              1. Has anyone ever cared about after the fact forfeitures?

        3. Massholia is a great name, but the grief was probably deserved. Brady outplayed Manning in domes and in outside venues during the regular season. Manning just had many more dome games.

          The goalposts have been shifted now though, all of a sudden all of the Manning is the GOAT people are claiming that they never said it and they’ve been saying Montana is the GOAT because he never lost a SB, like losing before getting to 2 less SBs is somehow better.

          1. Paul, there was an article penned by Kerry Byrnes (or Burns) of on the subject.

            His thesis: Brady is superior to Manning when their respective performances are viewed through the frame of the regular season.

            The piece was comprehensive. When it comes to winning percentage, teams that have scored over 500 points in a season and points per game, Brady has a slight edge over Manning. Slight, but still an edge.

            Of course, Manning has accomplished things that Brady and no other QB have managed to do and those things should not be ignored, including most all-time TD passes, etc.

    2. How about we just hold our congresspeople/senators/president accountable for oversight and remove them when they fail in their duties? Is that too novel a concept for America?

      Yes we’ll use the same institution headed by those politicians to enforce oversight on those politicians. I don’t disagree that direct democracy is a catastrophe waiting to happen, but expecting the state to police itself to any satisfactory degree is to ignore the entire history of statism.

    3. How about we just hold our congresspeople/senators/president accountable for oversight and remove them when they fail in their duties?

      Look, it’s not my Congressmen who are the problem, it’s theirs! Why can’t they remove them!

      /average voter

  5. Public employee pensions should be:

    A increased
    B decreased
    C unchanged
    D Carousel

    1. Paraphrasing BHO, at some point you’ve mooched enough

    2. Obamacare is Carousel, so I vote ‘D’.

      1. So you admit you voted for Obamacare? J’ACCUSE!

    3. E dependent on running a gauntlet, upon retiring, composed of pissed off taxpayers armed with nine irons.

      1. 5 irons. More torque.

    4. E for Eliminated

  6. Well, if I’m voting, I’m voting no. Turn away from evil and go get a private-sector job.

  7. my best friend’s sister makes $61 hourly on the computer . She has been without a job for 8 months but last month her income was $15147 just working on the computer for a few hours. this page…………..


  8. I’m just a little curious as to why those 37% of public employees believe the public they supposedly serve doesn’t deserve a say in what they’re paid.

    Mmm hmm.

  9. Start a new lucrative career. Our firm is looking for 10 people to represent our services?.
    You will have business coming to you on a daily basis
    Check Here Don’t Miss Golden Chance
    == http://www.MoneyKin.Com

  10. Start a new lucrative career. Our firm is looking for 10 people to represent our services?.
    You will have business coming to you on a daily basis
    Check Here Don’t Miss Golden Chance
    == http://www.MoneyKin.Com

  11. Start working from home! Great job for students, stay-at-home moms or anyone needing an extra income… You only need a computer and a reliable internet connection… Make $90 hourly and up to $12000 a month by following link at the bottom and signing up… You can have your first check by the end of this week……….

  12. This is something I entirely get behind and have been saying (at least about municipal unions etc.) for a long time.

    The management aren’t the city managers, the management are the people living in the city, the voters.

    The UAW can’t strike against me, they can only strike against GM. I can look elsewhere for a car.

    But the police, the transit workers, the sanitation department, the strike against me. Therefore I get to vote on their contract. Not the guy who’s angling for a Union endorsement.

  13. A better solution would be a law limiting all PubSec employees to a term of X years in service with zero retirement benefits.

    Treat it as a place where they learn a skill that can be translated to the public sector, where they can expect to have greater compensation and job security. Oh, and cut 1% of the public sector workplace annually for the next ten years (at a minimum) when you are replacing the workers that have reached their employment limit.

    Problem solved.

    1. I’ve been thinking something similar myself. Like term limits for government jobs. There’s big problem with this though. Once a person works for the government and gets the government work ethic, they’re worthless in the private sector. That’s part of why government jobs tend to be jobs for life. The workers are basically unemployable anywhere else. I wonder if government workers can claim disability simply because after working for the government they are unable to do anything productive?

      1. Usually the best workers in the public sector gets the fuck out of within 3-5 years. My friend works for the Federal Reserve and after working there for three years is actively looking for a job. From what he told me the people with the most talent are kept down while the ones who are incompetent but play the game of office politics well moves up the latter.

        1. office politics is all the private sector is too, outside of non family owned start-ups.

          1. Perhaps but not where I work. You perform or you get the fuck out of the way of those that do.

            Office politics is for support staff, not those out there making the place profitable

            1. You perform or you get the fuck out of the way of those that do.

              This is also what sloopy said to banjos as he slid the ring on her finger at the wedding ceremony, which is why she’s on her third kid already.

            2. The issue is Sloopy that being a worker at the Fed, there’s no profit motive, so of course they have to create some bullshit metric to judge you by.

              1. There certainly is a profit motive at the fed. Why do you think Goldman Sachs executives keep wanting to run it? 😉

                1. Why is it that so many of the comments, here, sound like they come from people without either private or public sector jobs?

                  1. Probably quite a few freelancers around here who have forgotten how the 9-5 work environment is.

            3. Yes, support staff is where the politics takes place. With engineers and salespeople and other people who actually make the money, it is not very often that politics trumps money making.


    “Moving beyond rhetoric, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday issued an executive order that aims at absolving state workers who don’t want to join a union from paying fees that support collective bargaining.

    The new governor’s decree effectively attempts to impose right-to-work rules on public employees, an idea Rauner and his pro-business allies also are pursuing for private-sector unions.”

    I have a friend on the negotiating team for the public sector unions and he is outraged.

    1. Isn’t this what Obama did with immigration, he just won’t enforce large parts of the law?

      And what the next President can do with Obamacare, stop enforcing laws that require people to buy insurance.

      1. Minorities and Women hardest hit?

        1. Here’s the backstory to this. I guess Rauner and the union negotiators agreed to not do any sneaky underhanded shit and that negotiations will be done in good faith. So two hours after they agreed to this, he went ahead and did the Executive Order. The unions have filed suit with the Illinois Supreme Court, the Democratic majority in the Illinois Senate and House of Reps are seeing if this is legal and Rauner has already anticipated this and got his lawyers. It’s a fucking bloodbath in Springfield.

  15. Better yet lets vote on exactly what the whole package is in the first place…….not just increases.

    I want to wipe the slate clean and start over. Pay, benefits and term limits will all be up for grabs.

  16. How about only persons employed in the private sector can vote on public sector comp?

    1. Well obviously you couldn’t have people in the public sector voting on it.

      1. But Democracy!!

  17. I wonder how many in favor of the public voting on those benefits would like the benefits increased?

  18. Forget having a popular vote on government employee wages and benefits. What a stupid idea. Rather, (1) Privatize all government employee healthcare plans, (2) Privatize all government employee retirement plans, and (3) Get the government entirely out of education, alternative energy, welfare, and mail delivery.

    Doing the above will send a strong message to remaining government employee managers that taxpayers will demand responsible pay and benefit arrangements.

  19. Sorry but you actually pay for these polls?

    1. These polls are about as stupid as many of the writers and posters at REASON.
      But always good for a laugh.

      1. Gee, the lefty twit and the parasite all in one place!

      2. Oh, you’re a troll!

        My bad, I shouldn’t have responded to you civilly before.

        Fuck off and die.

    2. Not millennials they love getting polled

  20. “78 Percent of Americans Say Voters Should Get to Vote on Government Employee Benefit Increases”

    Basically there will be non market prices. Get yourself a cushy government job in a popular field now.

    Another issue is what they’d actually get to vote on. Percentage increases? Most of the abuse is in the accumulation of salary over time “on the job”, overtime pay, benefits, retirement plans, and lack of any tie of performance to pay.

  21. 78 Percent of Americans Say Voters Should Get to Vote on Government Employee Benefit Increases

    And how many American say voters should get to vote on welfare payments to corporations?

    Sorry. I forgot “Reason” isn’t interested. Some libertarians.

    1. Whats that have to do with the price of tea in china?

  22. my co-worker’s aunt makes $87 hourly on the internet . She has been unemployed for six months but last month her pay check was $14358 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go Here………………


  23. Makes sense to me, “WE THE PEOPLE” are the boss. Raises should be our responsibility.

  24. They already get too!

    Still, 2/3 of them vote for Democrats.

  25. my classmate’s mom makes $82 /hr on the laptop . She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her paycheck was $16174 just working on the laptop for a few hours. you can check here……………

  26. Artikel nya sangat bagus dan bermanfaat, terima kasih saya sangat suka dengan konten nya 🙂

    Rumah dijual di Pondok Cabe
    Jadi Wifi

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.