Machinists Poll Confirms Excise Tax Opposition

IAM members delivered a bipartisan thumping to both political parties as well as the White House in an online survey of workers’ attitudes. But there can be no mistaking their strong opposition to key provisions of health care reform. 

Click here for a summary of the poll results.

On the pending health care legislation, nearly 68 percent of Machinists adamantly opposed the 40 percent excise tax on health care plans. Seventy percent gave a thumbs-down to penalties for those without health care coverage and more than 64.9 percent wanted a public option. President Obama was given only 18.7 percent approval for his efforts to control the cost of health insurance by the 1,262 Machinists completing the survey.

The poll’s opening right track/wrong track question produced a 75.0 percent wrong track response from IAM members. President Obama’s overall job approval rating was 38.5 percent, while the House of Representatives’ job approval was just 11.3 percent. The U.S. Senate drew only 5.5 percent as either excellent (.3 of one percent) or good (5.2 %).

IAM members were evenhanded in their disapproval. They felt neither party was controlling the growth of the federal deficit (67.1 %); standing up forcefully to the big banks (64.1 %) or pushing a strong jobs program to get people back to work (63.6 %).

In response to questions about the Democratic Party, over 88 percent agreed with the statement: “The Democratic Party doesn’t represent working people as strongly as they used to.” An identical percentage said they would “be inclined to support either party if they stood up strongly for the interests of ordinary working people.”

“For most Machinists, this Democratic White House, Congress and Senate is seen as turning their backs on the blue collar workforce,” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. “Over 54 percent said they would NOT support their member of Congress for re-election, and three-fifth’s said their congressman was a Democrat.”

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