Rasmussen continues to show a trend among American voters in terms of where we can save money and increasing numbers appear ready to put military spending on the table without worrying that it puts the nation at risk. The questions leave some wiggle room, as we’ll see below, but the break out indicates a familiar pattern which ties in with Ed Morrissey’s coverage of the Coburn plan earlier today.
Nearly one-half of Americans now think the United States can make major cuts in defense spending without putting the country in danger. They believe even more strongly that there’s no risk in cutting way back on what America spends to defend other countries.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Adults feel it is possible to significantly reduce military spending without putting the American people at risk. Thirty-seven percent (37%) disagree and do not believe major defense cuts come without risk. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.
The first, top line question may be a bit less specific than some readers would like. “Is it possible to significantly reduce military spending without putting the American people at risk?”
The word “significant” can mean many things to many people, but it’s probably safe to say that most are thinking of more than a few less flowers being planted outside the base exchange store. This seems to tie in to the fact that Americans are less focused on foreign threats and far more so on jobs and the economy. When that question was asked in the 2003-2004 era you could barely crawl out of single digits.
Another question puts these attitudes further in focus when the subject turns to military spending specifically geared towards our allies as opposed to keeping the homeland safe. “Is it possible to significantly reduce the amount the United States spends defending other countries without putting the American people at risk?”
68% answered that one in the affirmative and only 15% said no. This ties in to the numerous polls we’ve seen where Americans want Washington to cut spending, but when asked what they are willing to slash, the only answer they can all seem to agree on is foreign aid. During hard times you have to look after yourself first, it seems, and we have become a war weary nation.
Number such as these are probably making folks like Tom Coburn feel a little more comfortably in offering up military cuts as part of larger scale spending reduction packages. And this topic in particular is one which was never going to find much opposition among liberals. Look for some detailed plans to be coming down the pike which begin walking back the American military footprint abroad.