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Only 39% Expect Federal Spending to Exceed $4 Trillion in Near Future

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The documents the White House includes with President Obama's $3.7 trillion proposed budget for 2012 project that government spending will top $4 trillion in the next two to three years, but most voters aren't aware of that increase amidst all the talk of spending cuts.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 39% of Likely U.S. Voters think that, according to the president's budget proposal, government spending will increase to more than $4 trillion over the next few years.  Twenty-nine percent (29%) think instead that the budget projects a decrease in spending to less than $3.5 trillion, while 32% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Republican voters say Obama's budget projects government spending of over $4 trillion over the next few years, but a plurality (46%) of Democrats thinks spending is projected to fall below $3.5 trillion in that time period. Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, 39% expect a spending increase, 24% a decrease, and 38% aren't sure.

Fifty percent (50%) of Mainstream voters believe the president's budget will take spending up over $4 billion in the near future, but 72% of those in the Political Class say spending is projected to go down.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of all Likely Voters say, generally speaking, that the president’s new budget proposal cuts government spending too little. Ten percent (10%) say it cuts too much, while 26% say his budget cuts about the right amount.  Despite House Republican plans to cut substantially more, a plurality (40%) of voters doesn’t think the GOP goes far enough either.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 14-15, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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