“What if the American people don’t want smaller government that spends less?” asks NRO’s Jim Geraghty.
Does a country where the popular vote in the last six elections went for Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Bush, Obama and Obama really crave smaller government?
Polling indicates that 70 percent want a smaller deficit . . . but the only spending cut that gets anywhere near a majority support is to foreign aid — about one percent of the budget — and even that’s close to an even split. “For 18 of 19 programs tested, majorities want either to increase spending or maintain it at current levels.” People want smaller government right up until the point where it actually affects them.
Mr. Trump, the current Republican front-runner, is running against entitlement reform, continues Mr. Geraghty.
Trump opposes any cuts to Social Security and Medicare — and Medicaid, for that matter. In April, at the New Hampshire Republican Leadership Summit, Trump criticized his fellow Republicans for proposing reforms of the entitlement programs that are bankrupting the country: “Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid. And we can’t do that.” Medicare and Social Security alone face more than $69.1 trillion in unfunded liabilities, but Trump insists that the programs can be saved without cuts: “I’m not going to cut it at all. I’m going to bring money in, and we’re going to save it.”
The concern for interest in national debt seems to be declining for both Congress and voters. “By the time Obama leaves office, he’ll have added about $8 trillion to the debt, and plenty of Americans — to the extent they’re even aware of it — will feel it hasn’t affected their lives one bit.”
Start talking a number above $25 million, let alone billion, Saul Alinsky once wrote, “and the listener is completely out of touch, no longer really interested, because the figures have gone above his experience and almost are meaningless. Millions of Americans do not know how many million dollars make up a billion.”
More here from Jim Geraghty. Read it and weep.