Republicans and Democrats agree: the government is spending too much money on the military.
The ratchet is in operation. Once the government increases spending on anything “temporarily,” the spending becomes permanent. The spending greases too many corporate skids.
Republicans and Democrats in Washington may disagree about cutting the defense budget, but their constituents are generally in accord that it should shrink next year by a fifth to a sixth of its present size, according to a public opinion survey by the Program for Public Consultation, the Center for Public Integrity and the Stimson Center, a nonprofit think-tank.
The three groups first reported the existence of a broad public consensus in favor of military spending reductions in May, after conducting a unique nationwide survey in which respondents received information about the defense budget and had the chance to read multiple pro and con arguments about the military budget like those circulating on Capitol Hill.
Now a more detailed analysis of the results of that survey has shown that majorities in both red and blue congressional districts — those with Republican and Democratic representation, respectively — strongly support the idea that the defense budget should be cut more than politicians in Washington are considering.
The Obama Administration has promised not to add any more spending. There will be no cuts.
If there are no new programs to lower spending, automatic cuts (“sequestration”) of 10% will begin on January 1, 2013. That was the deal Congress worked out. But Obama is fighting these cuts.
Those surveyed in different districts did show some differences. Districts that elected Democrats were slightly more supportive of cutting defense than those that elected Republicans. But the respective levels measured by the poll – 80 percent and 74 percent – were both high.
Respondents in blue districts likewise favored cuts that were slightly larger than those from red districts, according to the new survey results. But the totals were again both high — a 22 percent cut and a 15 percent cut, respectively, or between 50 and 100 percent more than under “sequestration.”