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Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Republican Voters Embrace Government"

Republicans voters, for the most part, like the government benefits they receive:

Republican Primary Voters Embrace Government. No, Really., by John Sides: Paul Ryan’s budget would cut a lot of government spending. It would cut entitlement spending. It would cut aid to the poor, transportation, education, veterans benefits, and scientific research. There have been plenty of responses to the budget, positive and negative
But... It might not prove that popular with Republican voters. ...
In a March 3-6 YouGov poll, respondents were asked whether they wanted to increase spending, decrease spending, or keep spending the same in 16 different policy areas. In only one case, foreign aid, did a majority (72%) of Americans want to cut spending. And some of the most costly programs -- like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid -- attracted some of the least opposition.
What about when we isolate the views of the Republican base...? Consider the figure below, which compares responses among all respondents and Republican primary voters:


Only 17% of Republican primary voters wanted to cut spending on health research. Only 20% wanted to cut Social Security or Medicare. In fact, only 32% wanted to cut Medicaid and only 36% wanted to cut aid to the poor. Majorities of GOP primary voters were willing to cut only four things: unemployment benefits, spending on housing, spending on the environment, and foreign aid.
The same basic story emerges among supporters of different Republican presidential candidates [graph].  ...
Even though Ryan's budget may be dead on arrival, don't expect Republican voters to mourn its passing.

If you asked the same GOP voters about cutting the benefits of other people, benefits they believe are financed almost entirely from the taxes they pay, I expect the answer would be different.

    Posted by on Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  Comments (15)


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