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48% Think Major Cuts in Defense Spending Won’t Put America At Risk

Monday, July 18, 2011

Nearly one-half of Americans now think the United States can make major cuts in defense spending without putting the country in danger. They believe even more strongly that there’s no risk in cutting way back on what America spends to defend other countries.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Adults feel it is possible to significantly reduce military spending without putting the American people at risk. Thirty-seven percent (37%) disagree and do not believe major defense cuts come without risk. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Seventy-nine percent (79%) say the United States spends too much on defending other countries. Only four percent (4%) think America doesn’t spend enough protecting its friends. Thirteen percent (13%) feel these defense expenditures are about right.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Americans believe it is possible to significantly reduce the amount the United States spends defending other countries without putting the American people at risk. Just 15% believe this is not possible without putting the country in harm’s way. Seventeen percent (17%) are undecided.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Democrats and 54% of adults not affiliated with either major party feel it is possible to make major spending cuts in defense spending without weakening national security. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Republicans feel otherwise. But there’s little partisan disagreement that significant cutbacks in what America spends to defend other countries would not put the country at greater risk.

These findings take on added significance as Congress and the president debate ways to make significant long-term cuts in federal spending. Fifty-one percent (51%) of voters now recognize that
?most federal spending goes to only three areas? – Social Security, Medicare and national defense.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on July 15-16, 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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