Americans overwhelmingly reject all types of government spending cuts

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By Chris Bowers Open Left

You wouldn’t know it from our political discourse, but cutting government spending is overwhelmingly unpopular.

The following table shows public support for cutting certain types of government spending (large PDF, p. 15-16) compared to the percentage of that type of spending within the overall federal budget:

Support for cutting federal government spending

Spending Type Federal Budget Support for cuts
Social Security 19.6% 2%
Military 18.7% 18%
Unemployment 16.1% 15%
Medicare 12.8% 6%
Other health care* 10.4% 10%
Interest on Debt 4.6% 10%
State Department 1.5% 28%
Veterans 1.5% 2%
Anti-terrorism 1.2% 17%
Agriculture 0.7% 12%
Energy 0.7% 14%
Crime / Justice 0.7% 10%
Environment 0.3% 16%
Science 0.2% 14%

* Defined as Medicaid and Department of Health and Human Services.  General “health care” numbers from Pew poll used.

Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to all types of spending cuts.  Outside of the State department and NASA, which account for less than 2% of all federal government spending, at least five out of six Americans do not want to see the federal government cut spending in any other area.

More than five out of six Americans are opposed to cutting 98% of the federal budget.  Most don’t want to cut the remaining 2%, either.  Keep that in mind whenever you hear politicians calling for spending cuts, and polls claiming that voters want spending cuts.

Open Left

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