For the first time in 32 years, Americans believe the federal government is wasting a little more than half of every dollar it takes in — regardless of how that money is spent, according to new Gallup poll
The Gallup survey of 1,017 adults taken Sept. 8-11 also indicates that Americans have little faith cost-cutting efforts to reign in the federal budget will have much of an effect on wasteful spending.
Most of those surveyed estimated that at least 51 cents of every dollar is wasted, a figure that is 11 cents higher than what Gallup found when it first posed the question on wasteful spending in 1979.
The survey also reinforced previous findings that Americans have a little more faith in local and state governments to spend their money more wisely, although they believe wasteful spending is still a big problem at all levels of government.
For example, those who participated in the Gallup poll estimated that states waste on average about 42 cents out of every dollar, while local officials only waste about 38 cents.
Still, those amounts were about 11 cents higher than they were in 1979 when the wasteful spending question was first asked.
The survey participants gave no indication, however, of whether they thought the money was being wasted on useless programs or simply being misused or misdirected in worthwhile endeavors.
The Gallup poll also revealed that there is little difference between how Republicans and Democrats gauged wasteful spending.
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