Stupid is as stupid does? Or what about what we say? In the most recent survey reported by the AP, it turns out that people really favor increasing spending on all kinds of things by the government. Of course, no one bothers to ask whose money is being spent and they certainly aren’t being asked, “given your household budget, which of the following would you choose to spend more on?” Check through the results. I love the thinking here. Folks think Social Security is not welfare. And they favor increased help for the poor, but just not “welfare” for the poor. They favor more spending on “the environment” – but of course no one has a clue what that means. Does it mean developing GMO crops? To me it does, since developing GMO crops increases yields which reduces pressure on land use. And never mind asking if they care if the spending is necessary or is productive? Why would we report that?
Finally, it would be fascinating to see how respondents would answer the following question in response to their desire to spend more on program X:
How much is currently being spent on program X?
How the hell can they provide an answer of “we should spend more, or less” without at least being in the ballpark of my question? I just dropped off my kids at gymnastics a minute ago. Had I asked them if they thought I should spend more on their candy I am sure they would have overwhelmingly supported it. You should treat these surveys no different than how I respond to my kids’ candy pleas. At least my kids don’t know where I hide my wallet yet.