Conservative Voters Hate “Spending” Love Spending on All Actual Categories of Government Spending

It’s well-known that conservative politicians who like to talk about the need for spending cuts rarely have specific program they’re willing to slash. But John Sides points out that in this regard they’re merely echoing the views of their own base:

Conservatives agree that the government spends too much. But ask them what to cut..

In 2008, the American National Election Study asked a national sample whether federal spending on 12 different programs should be increased, decreased or kept about the same.

As the graph above illustrates, the respondents who identified themselves as “conservative” or “extremely conservative” had little appetite for specific spending cuts.

Even I’m more spending-averse than this! I’d be for reducing spending on the “war on terrorism” and “tightening border security,” and though I don’t want to cut spending on repairs to existing roadways, I’d be happy to virtually eliminate spending on new highways.