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56% Favor Spending Cap Tied to Population Growth and Inflation

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.

(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 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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