That’s the message from a Pew Research survey released today. While 53% say the abstract notion of “deficit reduction” should be a “top priority,” most also want to INCREASE spending on nearly every type of government endeavor, and don’t want to cut anywhere.
Despite the growing deficit, the survey found that a plurality of Americans want to spend MORE, not less, on health care, energy, education, veterans’ benefits, Medicare, military defense, assistance for the unemployed, combating crime, and environmental protection (in order of most support to least).
The survey found almost no support for the more libertarian viewpoints expressed at Tea Party and Ron Paul rallies. For instance, just 6 percent support cutting spending on the massive Medicare entitlement program, or “government-run health care.”
The only two areas in which a plurality of Americans didn’t support more spending were 1) international humanitarian assistance and 2) funding for the State Department and American embassies. But even in these least popular areas, those who wanted to keep funding the same or increase it still overwhelmingly outnumbered those who wanted to decrease funding.
The Pew findings indicate that conservatives who blame government spending on “politicians who don’t listen to ‘we the people’” are themselves not listening to the people. According to this surey, the politicians supporting more government spending are representing the will of most Americans. If the Tea Parties want a smaller government and a democratically responsive government, they should be shouting down their pals at home, not their pols in DC.