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43% Favor Offsetting Irene Disaster Aid With Spending Cuts

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Hurricane Irene has Washington talking about cutting government spending again. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has proposed that new federal spending for Irene disaster relief be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget, and a plurality of Americans thinks that's a good idea.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 43% of Adults favor a proposal to offset any federal disaster aid in response to Hurricane Irene with comparable cuts in other areas of government spending. Thirty-six percent (36%) oppose the idea, while another 21% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-two percent (52%) of Republicans support Cantor’s proposal, but the same number (52%) of Democrats are opposed. Among adults not affiliated with either political party, 43% favor the idea, and 30% are against it.

Overall, just 20% of adults now believe the federal government should bear most of the financial responsibility for repairing areas affected by Hurricane Irene. Forty percent (40%) believe local agencies should take on most of the financial burden for repairing the storm-damaged areas, while 28% say it should be left to the individuals affected themselves.

A week ago, 35% of Americans said the federal government should bear most of the financial responsibility for the areas impacted by the hurricane, but interestingly the inclusion of the word "repairing" in the question drops that support, suggesting adults feel the aftermath of such a storm is more of a local matter.  A year after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, 47% of adults said the federal government should bear most of the financial responsibility for areas affected by disasters. 

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on September 3-4, 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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