Sunday, October 14, 2012

Are we a "center-right country" as the GOP constantly says?

Well, for one thing, Americans don't say they are. Only a third of Americans say they are conservatives, while about a fifth say they are liberals. The rest say they are moderates. So while more Americans say they are conservative than say they are liberal, a plurality of Americans reject both labels.

But wait, there's more. A solid majority of Americans are against raising taxes for pay for federal government spending. But that same majority have a picture of what the federal government spends money on that's radically different from reality--they grossly underestimate what the government spends on them, and overestimate what it spends on others--particularly foreign others via foreign aid, which is a tiny part of the budget. Many don't even realize that MediCare is a federal program.

What our "center-right" tilt boils down to is "Justice for thee--mercy for me." Americans want a level of government services that our current level of taxation won't pay for. They don't want fewer services. They don't want higher taxes. And our politicians of both parties don't want to tell this to the public. Instead the Democrats tell sob stories while the Republicans tell horror stories and talk about "waste and fraud" when the biggest amount of fraud--by far--goes to corporate welfare, not personal welfare.

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