By Ben Armbruster
A new poll released by the Hill newspaper has found that more voters favor slashing military spending versus cutting spending on domestic programs like Medicare and Social Security in order to reduce the debt and deficit.
While the HIll says the poll results show that American voters think reducing the debt is more important than maintaining domestic and military spending at current levels, they prefer to see the cuts come from the Pentagon:
Forty-nine percent of respondents said they would support cutting military spending, while just 23 percent said they would support slashing Social Security and Medicare. An overwhelming majority, 69 percent, said they would oppose cuts to social programs.
Moreover, 37 percent said the U.S. spends “too much” on the military, 38 percent said “just the right amount” and only 18 percent said “too little.”
The new poll results come as the sequester cuts — totaling $85 billion this year alone — are set to take effect on March 1 if Congress and the White House can’t get a deal done to avert them.
But as far as the sequester’s military reductions are concerned, the arbitrary automatic cuts probably aren’t the best way to reduce the Pentagon’s bloated budget (there are alternatives). But, as CAP Senior Fellow Lawrence Korb noted recently, the military spending sequester would bring DOD’s baseline budget “would return to the fiscal year 2007.”
Even former Defense officials led by former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Mike Mullen agree. “In previous eras, increased defense spending may have been required to maintain security,” the group wrote in a joint statement in December. “That is no longer the case. In our judgment, advances in technological capabilities and the changing nature of threats make it possible, if properly done, to spend less on a more intelligent, efficient and contemporary defense strategy that maintains our military superiority and national security.”