Survey: Majority opposes defense cuts to reduce deficit

13 Oct

By Jeremy Herb – 10/12/12 03:19 PM ET

A new survey found that more than half of the public opposes cutting defense spending in order to reduce the deficit.

But the idea is still divided along party lines, with President Obama supporters in favor of cutting defense and Mitt Romney’s backers opposed, according to the survey from the Pew Research Center released Friday.

The poll found 56 percent of total respondents opposed “reducing military defense spending” in order to cut the debt and deficit, while 40 percent supported it. The idea had the fourth highest disapproval rating among 12 tested by Pew for reducing the deficit.

Respondents only supported two of the 12 ideas: raising the tax rate on those making more than $250,000 and limiting tax deductions for large corporations.

Reducing federal funding for education was the least popular idea, with 75 percent disapproving.
The poll underscores how it’s often difficult to gain public support on measures reducing the deficit, even as concern about the debt is growing.

Defense spending had a wide divide when broken down on partisan lines. For Mitt Romney supporters, 82 percent were opposed to cutting defense spending, and just 16 percent were in favor. Obama supporters, meanwhile, approved of cutting military funding 58 to 37.

The 42-point divide was the second highest in the Pew poll, as raising taxes on $250,000 earners had a 43-point swing.

The Pew poll was based on a survey of 1,511 adults, including 1,201 registered voters.

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