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.
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.
For those who want to take comfort in some additional good public opinion data, here are some additional numbers from previous polls.
- More than two-to-one support for personal retirement accounts.
- Recognition that big government is the greatest danger to America’s future.
- An increasingly negative view of the federal government.
- More than eight-to-one support for less spending rather than higher taxes.
- Strong support for bureaucrat layoffs and/or entitlement reforms instead of higher taxes.
- Three-fourths of voters think the top tax rate should be no higher than 30 percent.
- And my favorite poll results are the ones showing that voters understand that the goal is less spending, not lower deficits.
These good numbers are why I think it’s actually possible to implement entitlement reform. People see what’s happening in Europe and don’t want America to suffer a similar fate.