Under the budget proposed by Paul Ryan, federal spending on everything other than Medicare and Social Security would decline over the next 20 years …
(a) from 22% of GDP to 18.5% of GDP
(b) from 22% of GDP to 14.5% of GDP
(c) from 14.5% of GDP to 11.5% of GDP
(d) from 14.5% of GDP to 7% of GDP.
In this week’s YouGov survey, 34% of Americans chose (b); 23% chose (a); 15% chose©; only 11% chose the correct answer (as scored by the Congressional Budget Office), (d). (The remaining 16% declined to hazard a guess.)
In other words,
(1) most people vastly overestimate how much the federal government is currently spending;
(2) a plurality expect the Ryan budget to reduce federal spending in 20 years to the level it is at right now; and
(3) among the minority who have an accurate sense of current spending, most vastly underestimate the magnitude of the cuts Ryan has proposed.
[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]