Daniel J. Mitchell

As shown in the video series on the economics of government spending, I’m not a big fan of the welfare state, which is big government in the long run.

I’m also not a fan of bigger government in the short run, which is what we get from Keynesian economics and so-called stimulus.

But truth doesn’t matter in Washington if voters don’t agree with your position. Actually, truth may not matter even if voters are on your side. But there’s at least a chance to prevail against the prevailing culture of statism when voters support your position.

So let’s enjoy these details about some encouraging new polling data.

Three quarters (74%) of voters do not believe federal government spending has helped the economy, and 86% do not believe government spending has helped their own personal financial situation.  This pessimism over the impact of government spending is consistent throughout many key demographic groups that are frequently mentioned as “target” voters in the upcoming Presidential election. Nearly three quarters of both men (75%) and women (72%) do not believe government spending has helped the economy, along with eight in ten (80%) seniors.  A majority (54%) of seniors say spending has “hurt” the economy.  Also, a majority of Independents (55%) and married women (59%) believe government spending has hurt the economy.  Three quarters (76%) of middle class families do not believe spending has helped the economy, with 58% believing government spending has actually hurt the economy.


Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.
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