Enough! Study finds voters overwhelmingly want big Defense cuts

Defense Department file photo
Americans of all stripes have had enough of massive Pentagon budgets and want significant cuts in defense spending, according to new survey data released on Monday.

In Republican and Democratic districts across the country, 74 percent and 80 percent of respective voters said they want less defense spending, the study found.

On average, voters indicated that they wanted a budget for fiscal 2013 that would be nearly 20 percent less than current defense spending.

With $645 billion enacted for total defense spending this year, the average voter’s preferred budget for next year, an 18 percent cut, would translate into a $116 billion savings -- money lawmakers trying to balance the budget could sorely use.

The study’s results will disappoint defense hawks and industry officials fighting against spending cuts, especially those claiming to protect defense jobs in their districts.

Voters participated in an April survey that first presented and explained competing arguments for higher or lower defense spending. Some results of that survey have previously been released. But the authors dived into a deeper examination of party differences and found no statistically significant separation of attitudes on defense spending cuts between Republicans and Democrats. Moreover, voters in districts with or without defense industry jobs overwhelmingly said they want the federal government to spend less.

“The idea that Americans’ would want to keep total defense spending up so as to preserve local jobs is not supported by the data,” said Steven Kull, director of the Program for Public Consultation, which conducted the survey with the Stimson Center and the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism group.

Pork spending in districts has little effect on voter support for defense spending, the group claimed its findings showed. “Overall there was no statistical correlation between the level of defense spending in a district and the level of support for defense cuts.”

Some results were unsurprising. “Blue” district voters wanted larger overall cuts of 22 percent, compared with 15 percent preferred by voters in “red” districts. Blue-district voters wanted bigger cuts to missile defense, long perceived as a Republican-favored program, but “respondents in red districts were a bit more ready to cut health care benefits for military families and retirees,” which require government spending.

 
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.