Here’s the chart I mentioned last night on the percentage of self-identified “conservatives” and “extremely-conservative” voters who want to see spending eliminated or reduced on specific government programs. Click on it to enlarge. (source here).
The results conform to every other poll I’ve ever seen on this topic: not even the most conservative voters really want the government destroyed or even shrunk when they have to make real-world choices. The only programs they want to cut or eliminate are…gta-dah…foreign aid and “welfare” As I’ve mentioned before, these two are at most about 6% of federal spending. Foreign aid = $25 billion in a budget of 3.6 trillion. (Remember, a trillion is a thousand times bigger than a billion.) Welfare = about 5% of same, depending on what you want to call welfare.
What’s more, every single elected Republican politician knows all of this. That’s why they never actually specify what parts of “government” they want eliminated. They know no one–not even their own supporters–wants it done. The few Republicans that have tried to go after the big pieces of government have gotten slapped down fast. GWB tries to phase out Social Security in 2005 and his party ran from him like he had Ebola.
Remember the Clintom vs. Gingrich government shutdown in 1996? What no one remembers is what it was about. Gingrich at the last minute tried to cut Medicare’s budget by about 15%, and Clinton called his bluff and refused. The public sided with the president, and that (plus the impeachment insanity) helped the GOP lost the next election big time.