What if We’re to Blame?

Robert J. Samuelson has an excellent article in Newsweek with this title. He comments on the way politicians follow the polls, and how we, as voters, demand contradictory things:

Americans favor balanced budgets. But in 66 years of surveys, taxpayers have never said their income taxes were too low, reports Karlyn Bowman of the American Enterprise Institute. A Gallup poll in April found that 48 percent thought their taxes too high and only 2 percent too low. Americans also think government spending is hugely wasteful; 61 percent said so in a 2004 poll by the University of Michigan. But locating that waste is hard. A recent Fox News poll found that only 19 percent favor cuts in Social Security, 21 percent in health care, 19 percent in education and 25 percent for the military.

Read the whole article. It’s worth it!

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One Comment

  1. Why do we have runaway federal spending? Why can politicians get away with pork-barrel earmarks? Because we, the voters, demand it. When our democracy fails to accomplish a major task, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

    That’s why I am skeptical of campaign finance ‘reform’ measures. I think that the movement is largely well-intentioned, but misguided. The problem of corrupt politicians getting re-elected isn’t one of money. If the candidate with the largest amount of money always wins, the problem is a lazy electorate.

    Unfortunately, that is a problem that you can’t legislate your way out of.

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