Most Americans Clueless About Budget Realities

Saturday, 05 Mar 2011 10:07 AM

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The American public is demanding serious cuts in the federal budget while remaining ignorant about what is actually in the budget. Poll after poll has shown that the public believes the country's deficit woes can be solved by cutting foreign aid and reducing waste and poll,americans,budget,deficitfraud when in actuality those areas account for miniscule parts of the budget, the Washington Post reports.

Recent public opinion polls show that large numbers of the American public believe that 42 percent of every federal dollar is wasted, that three-quarters want cuts to foreign aid that the majority believes sucks up more than 25 percent of the budget. In reality, estimates on fraud and abuse show it is small and foreign aid amounts to about 1 percent of the budget, a Post fact check showed.

Programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security consume about 40 percent of the budget, followed by the military at about 25 percent. Domestic discretionary spending takes up just over 12 percent and interest on debt 6.5 percent, the Post said.

A recent study by the University of Maryland found that when presented with the facts on the budget, Democrats were in favor of "cutting spending more than Republicans -- and members of both parties agreeing to raise taxes." "There should be little excuse for not knowing the basic facts about how the U.S. government spends taxpayers' money," the Post concluded.

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