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The public's incoherence on spending -- and spending cuts -- in one graph

spending_versus_public_desire_to_cut_spending.png

Source here.

By Ezra Klein  |  July 14, 2010; 4:24 PM ET
Categories:  Charts and Graphs  
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Comments

What is your source for share of spending, though? Is it federal spending only, or total government spending (including state and local spending)?

Also, it's worth remembering that people vastly overestimate the amount the federal government is already spending on foreign aid.

(see http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2009/12/in-fairness-theres-also-a-strong-consensus-against-waste-fraud-and-abuse-and-for-limiting-welfare-recipients-to-three-escalades-a-year)

Posted by: madjoy | July 14, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

if foreign aid is such a small %, might as well make it 0. got to start somewhere.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | July 14, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Classic example of people being selfish. Foreign aid and unemployment benefits? Those go to other people. Health care and defense? That's for me.

Posted by: simpleton1 | July 14, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

As several of us have been saying, it shows that the biggest savings AND most realistic interest are in cutting the defense budget. It's not just the welfare state that may be reaching its limits but support for imperial overreach.

Better we cut defense than raise the retirement age, or cut unemployment benefits. And yes, cut spending on health care, but do it by cutting out unnecessary treatemnts and overbilling, deal with end-of-life care and cut out insurers, not by laving so many Americans without basic and preventive health care.

And of course when presented with the choice, even Americans favor raising taxes on the rich. (The rich to me is the top 5%, over $160,000 or thereabouts in AGI. Even though this is about 7 million filers, they have 37+% of the income, and the other 134 million filers split the rest, and then there are those with no income at all.)

Raise marginal rates, eliminate the preferential rate for dividends and put the estate tax at 45% and up for estates over $2M per person. But if we did all that, raising the SS wage cap right now might be too much of a hit. That should be phased in VERY slowly.

Posted by: Mimikatz | July 14, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Isn't just the defense department budget, not including Homeland Security and other intelligence and defense related spending through the State Department and whatnot, MUCH more than 19% of the federal budget?

Posted by: goodepicwashpost | July 14, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Would it be possible to get the same data in a scatter plot? (I mean, I could make one, but my blog isn't on a big-name page...)

Posted by: mudlock | July 14, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Where did you get your spending numbers?

Posted by: jtravisrolko | July 14, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

The defense spending category only includes the Pentagon budget. It ignores the VA, DOE, CIA, NSA, DHS, State Dept, and the two wars. Actual military spending is 933 billion dollars.

Between the military and the interest on the debt, the government spends everything they collect in income taxes (1.3 trillion dollars). The government is woefully underfunded because of the two income tax cuts under Bush and Obama.

Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are 99% funded by payroll taxes (1.3 trillion dollars).

The rest of the government costs about 1 trillion dollars.

Posted by: leshoro | July 14, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

The defense spending category only includes the Pentagon budget. It ignores the VA, DOE, CIA, NSA, DHS, State Dept, and the two wars. Actual military spending is 933 billion dollars.

Between the military and the interest on the debt, the government spends everything they collect in income taxes (1.3 trillion dollars). The government is woefully underfunded because of the two income tax cuts under Bush and Obama.

Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are 99% funded by payroll taxes (1.3 trillion dollars).

The rest of the government costs about 1 trillion dollars.

Posted by: leshoro | July 14, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

The public is generally not well educated in sound economic policy BUT they sure as 7ell know that the federal & state spending to date has NOT turned our economy around. THEY KNOW INTUITVELY government spending on existing government jobs DOES NOT CREATE GOOD PAYING, PERMANENT, NONGOVERNMENT JOBS for them - JUST HIGHER TAXES DOWN THE ROAD. They also know that saving UAW jobs, pensions and benefits is UNCONSTITUTIONAL because it does not treat all taxpayers equally and cannot in the end do anything but fail along with GM until it gets its cost structure (including LABOR) under control.

"Leshoro" should get his facts straight on Social Security and Medicare instead of spouting blatant untruths which is a grave diservice to all thinking citizens! These entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security) are NOT funded. They have close to 100 trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities:Congress has "borrowed" all the cash contributions in Social Security AND NOT REFUNDED THE LOANS so more cash goes out today than comes in! Congress has fattened Medicare/Medicaid coverage and benefits while science has extended our expected longevity dramatically and lacked the backbone to deal with it in either Medical care or Social Security.

Posted by: PRRWRITER | July 15, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

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