Ah, the American public. God love 'em. The Economist asked if they'd rather tackle the federal deficit by cutting spending or raising taxes,
and the runaway winner was cutting spending, by a margin of 62% to 5%. So what are we willing to cut? Answer: pretty much nothing.
As you can see, there wasn't one single area that even a third of the country wanted to cut back on. Except — hold on there! Down in the middle of
the table. There is one area that everyone's willing to trim: foreign aid. Good 'ol foreign aid. A category that, as Roger McShane dryly points out,
"makes up less than 1% of America's total spending."
Beyond that, there were only four areas that even a quarter of the population was willing to cut: mass transit, agriculture, housing, and the
environment. At a rough guess, these areas account for about 3% of the federal budget. You could slash their budgets by a third and still barely make
a dent in federal spending.
I suppose one of these days everyone's going to have to figure this out. Apparently no time soon, though. Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Judging from ATS, I would have thought that a larger majority of the population would favor cutting Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs,
especially those that might benefit your neighbor but not you
This poll was actually taken by "The Economist," a somewhat conservative-leaning but usually surprisingly impartial publication.
If it was done by Mother Jones, you might suspect some bias in their choice of people to interview; as it is, though, I find The Economist basically
trustworthy and am somewhat impressed with the results.
BTW: I'm not surprised that things like foreign aid, the environment, agricultural subsidies, etc. are among the areas most favored for cuts.
Foreign aid doesn't benefit most of us directly; many of us are not farmers, and the environment is always being kicked down the road.