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Voters See These ‘Corporate Welfare’ Programs As A Good Place To Cut Government Spending

Congress is looking for sizable spending cuts in the months ahead, and voters see three so-called “corporate welfare” programs as potential candidates for the chopping block - farm subsidies, aid to large corporations to promote export sales and funding to help other countries buy U.S.-made weapons.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 15% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government should continue to provide funding for foreign countries to buy military weapons from U.S. companies. Seventy percent (70%) oppose this funding to promote U.S. arms sales. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided about it.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Voters are more closely divided on the topic of farm subsidies. The U.S. government typically provides more than $20 billion a year in crop and farm subsidies, and 37% of voters feel those subsidies should continue. But a plurality (46%) thinks those subsidies should be ended, while 17% more are not sure.

Similarly, the federal government’s Export-Import bank provides billions of dollars in loans and loan guarantees to companies like Boeing and General Electric. The stated purpose is to sustain American jobs by financing U.S. exports.  But just 29% of voters believe the government should continue to provide loans and loan guarantees to help finance export sales for large corporations. Again, a plurality of 46% opposes loans and loan guarantees for this purpose. Twenty-five percent (25%) are undecided.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of voters beleive that thoughtful spending cuts should be considered in every program of the federal government as the nation searches for solutions to the budget crisis.  Defense spending has traditionally been one area voters have been very reluctant to cut, but 48% of Americans now think the United States can make major cuts in defense spending without putting the country in danger.

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The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 11-12, 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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