People Don’t Want More Government Spending, So Why Does It Always Rise?

At Townhall, Dan Mitchell comments on international poll data that compare attitudes toward government spending in 16 Western countries. The chart shows what percentage of respondents in each country want to cut government spending; increase it; or keep it the same. Dan highlights the fact that Americans are to the “left” of Portuguese, Frenchmen and Italians:

But a different point jumps out at me. It has been true in the U.S., for a long time, that most voters want to cut government spending, yet spending inexorably rises. It turns out that this is more or less a universal phenomenon: government spending increases irrespective of voters’ desire that it do so. Why this is true is a large topic, but it seems that at least part of the answer is that the New Class that has sprung up across the modern world is still firmly in the saddle and is exploiting the rest of us at an ever-increasing rate. Where is Karl Marx when you need him?