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I think this visual from The Monkey Cage says it all:

As you move downward, into categories of spending that are increasingly popular, you get to the largest federal programs, particularly entitlement spending. Really, there is only one area of federal spending — national defense — that is sizable and that even a modest fraction (22%) is willing to cut.

In fact, there is a negative relationship between the budgetary share allocated to a policy area and the fraction who want to cut it. The correlation coefficient between the poll percentages and the budget percentages is -.33 (with or without the obvious potential outlier, foreign aid, included).

The programs that make up the largest percentage of the federal government’s budget are, in most cases, the programs that voters least want to cut funding for. This means that those programs whose trimming would enjoy broad support aren’t large enough to move the needle in any meaningful way.  (I still never cease to be amazed at these polling results when it comes to foreign aid.)  Political pressure to continue funding the largest programs makes it all but impossible that we’ll see the biggest programs

I would imagine we would see a similar pattern emerge in businesses (or any other organization for that matter) as certain highly funded programs gather a large number of benefactors and, therefore, supporters.

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