Why governance is hard

Here is an interesting chart from the blog, The Monkey Cage:

Based on this chart, Salon concludes:

Rank-and-file conservatives actually like big government.

In 2008, the American National Election Study asked a national sample whether federal spending on 12 different programs should be increased, decreased or kept about the same.

As the graph above illustrates, the respondents who identified themselves as “conservative” or “extremely conservative” had little appetite for specific spending cuts.

….Amazingly, the survey found that, on average, 54 percent of them actually wanted to increase spending.

Interestingly, foreign aid will also be a very small part of the U.S. budget, compared to military spending and social security. But those are some of the areas that conservatives are less interested in cutting spending. And if conservatives are not interested in cutting spending, I suspect in alot of case, liberals in the U.S. are not interested either.

And this is why governance is hard. People want the government to use less of their money (in the form of taxes), but they still want the services that governments provide. Having your cake and eating it too is challenging.

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3 responses to “Why governance is hard

  1. The thing I find interesting is:

    a third say they want to cut welfare programs but only ~10% want to cute social security or aid to the poor.

    This seems like a framing bias. When you call it welfare it’s bad but when you’re helping the poor it’s good.

    • smartpeopleiknow

      good catch! It is similar to the discussion around DADT, where people were accepting of gays and lesbians in the military but not homosexuals! Crazy!

    • I also wonder if it is a case of people thinking “I would never take ‘welfare’ …that’s for other people but I would take ‘aid to the poor’

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