From John Sides:
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.
The lesson from this? It turns out that conservative politicians really do represent their base pretty well. They like to yammer endlessly about cutting spending, but when push comes to shove, there's not much they really think we're spending too much on. It's all just venting.
[Correction: See update]
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