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:: By Lydialyle Gibson

:: Graphic by Allen Carroll

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Investigations ::


Tax dollars at work

Despite Americans’ reliable aversion to paying taxes—last year 58 percent said their federal income taxes were too high—they don’t mind spending Uncle Sam’s money. A survey released in January by the University’s National Opinion Research Center found that in 2006, as in nearly every year since the early 1970s, Americans favored greater spending in most areas of government.

Yet while fighting crime once topped the list of Americans’ spending priorities, the 2006 respondents were more concerned about education, health, the environment, and assistance to the poor. Crime came in fifth, with 61.2 percent reporting that the government spends too little to halt “the rising crime rate.”

Even farther down the list was national defense, on which only 26.8 percent favored spending more. Reflecting a growing national worry, 63.9 percent wanted more government funding for Social Security.

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