The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

February 22, 2013

Americans back spending-cut delay while pushing for budget deal

(Continued)

Americans also have a skewed picture of what drives federal spending.

At least half correctly pegged defense programs, Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid — both of which comprise about one fifth of the federal budget — as accounting for at least 20 percent of federal spending. Yet almost a third of respondents say the same about education — which actually comprises 2 percent of the budget — and foreign aid — which registers at just 1 percent of federal spending. Almost 40 percent of respondents say the social safety net, including food stamps and jobless benefits, make up at least a fifth of the federal budget; in fact, such programs amount to about 13 percent of total spending.

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