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56% Favor Spending Cap Tied to Population Growth and Inflation

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Voters strongly comprehend that government spending has risen over the past decade, and most favor a cap on annual spending increases limited to population growth and inflation.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 81% of Likely U.S. Voters recognize that government spending in America has gone up over the past 10 years. Only five percent (5%) think spending has gone down, while eight percent (8%) say it has stayed about the same. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Seventy-four percent (74%) correctly believe government spending over the past 10 years has grown by more than the growth of the population plus inflation. Four percent (4%) feel it has grown by less than that, while nine percent (9%) say spending growth has been about equal to it. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters favor a law that limits the growth of U.S. government spending each year to how much the population has grown plus inflation. Twenty-one percent (21%) oppose a spending limit of that nature, while 23% are not sure about it.

Among voters who oppose such a cap, 34% want a stricter spending limit, but nearly as many (32%) want looser restrictions on spending growth. Nineteen percent (19%) favor no spending limit of any kind. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on May 23-24, 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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