In Fairness, There's Also A Strong Consensus Against Waste, Fraud and Abuse. And For Limiting Welfare Recipients to Three Escalades A Year.

>> Sunday, December 20, 2009

One thing to add to the fact that foreign aid is one of the tiny number of specific areas in which cuts to government spending are actually popular is that (unless public awareness of federal spending levels has increased to implausible levels since 1995) it's quite definitely the exception that proves the rule:

The weekend before President Clinton's State of the Union Address, the Wall Street Journal assembled a focus group of middle-class white males to plumb the depth of their proverbial anger. These guys are mad as hell. They're mad at welfare, they're mad at special-interest lobbyists. "But perhaps the subject that produces the most agreement among the group," the Journal reports, is the view that Washington should stop sending money abroad and instead zero in on the domestic front.

...a poll released last week by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland which stated that 75% of Americans believes that the US spends "too much" on foreign aid, and 64% want foreign aid spending cut. Apparently a cavalier 11% of Americans think it's fine to spend "too much" on foreign aid. Respondents were also asked, though, how big a share of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. The median answer was 15%; the average answer was 18%; the correct answer is less than 1%. A question about how much would be "too little" produced a median answer of 3%--more than three times the current level of foreign aid spending.


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