Despite 60 Questions, Not a Single Question Asked About Cost to the Consumer
Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance (MassFiscal) and Citizens for Limited Taxation (CLT) made the following statement today in response to the publication of a push poll commissioned by environmental lobbying organizations intended to boost state participation for the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) scheme. TCI has been under fire in Massachusetts and other states within the TCI jurisdiction. Recently, Governor Charlie Baker cast doubt toward joining the compact. New Hampshire has already opted out, a fact confirmed by proponents who did not include the Granite State in their push poll.
Glaring problems can be found in the poll. Most notably that proponents did not include any questions pertaining to the major increase in gasoline and diesel prices to consumers. They failed to include questions on the impact of the virus to the economy and transportation habits since the pandemic changed how a lot of people go to work. The breakdown of the poll also included an enormously high sampling of Democratic voters, at 44.1%, while Republican voters were only at 28.5% and Independents were skewed at 24.5%. Despite a very high sampling of Democratic voters, the poll was completed by nearly 80% white voters, which is questionable at best.
“Today’s push poll doesn’t ask a single question on cost, though it did allow one response to its next question: ‘TCI will be an economic burden on consumers and families in my state and will increase costs on basic needs like gas and transportation,’” stated Chip Ford, executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. “Proponents are aware of those economic costs, proven by their follow-up question. If this poll seeks to be considered legitimate, it should have asked taxpayers and consumers to weigh the benefits of TCI versus its projected costs.”
“How can the public or state leaders find any merit in this poll when it doesn’t ask the most basic questions that are being debated about the program?” added Ford. “Apparently results from it didn’t fit the pro-TCI narrative, so they excluded sharing those results with the public. Without that vital data it would be appropriate to question this poll’s credibility.”
“The TCI push poll is just that. Instead of sampling a reflective mix of Republicans, Democrats and Independents, they choose to target Democratic voters by a margin of 44.1% compared to Republican at 28.5% and Independents at 24.5%. In Massachusetts and elsewhere, that is certainly a major under sampling of independent voters. That’s not scientific, its partisan,” stated Paul Diego Craney, spokesman of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
“What’s worse is that despite an over sample toward Democratic voters, the entire poll was done by nearly 80% white voters. TCI is getting major pushback in other states from minority communities who view this as a way to tax poor people to fund rich people’s electric vehicles. It’s possible the push poll didn’t want that to come out in their results. It’s really shameful,” concluded Craney.
In stark contrast to today’s push poll, the Fiscal Alliance Foundation recently commissioned a non-partisan Massachusetts poll that asked voters to weigh the merits of TCI. It included questions pertaining to the cost of the program, the impact that TCI would have on the environment, and the appropriateness of TCI given the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. That poll can be found at: www.fiscalalliancefoundation.org/statewide-poll-covid-19-impacts-tci.