Poll: Cut Defense, Not Medicare and Social Security

Monday, 25 Feb 2013 09:46 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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As the budget sequester looms in Washington, most voters say they would rather see defense spending cut instead of taking money away from Social Security or Medicare to cut the nation's debt and balance the budget, a new poll finds.

The poll of 1,000 likely voters, conducted Feb. 21 for The Hill newspaper, also found that a majority by a margin of 58 percent to 28 percent also think cutting the nation's debt is more vital than keeping domestic and military programs at their current levels.

The survey found that 49 percent of those polled said they would support cutting military spending, while only 23 percent said they would support cuts to Social Security and Medicare. A sizable majority of 69 percent said they would oppose cuts to the social programs.

According to the poll conducted by Public Opinion Research for The Hill, a high number of both Republicans and Democrats are opposed to cutting social programs. Among those identifying themselves as Democrats, 82 percent said they were against cuts to Medicare and Social Security, while 62 percent of Republicans took the same position. Twenty-nine percent of Republicans and 12 percent of Democrats took the opposite position, saying they would support social program cuts.

In addition, the poll found that 37 percent of voters surveyed think the government spends too much on the military, while 18 percent said it does not spend enough.

Not surprisingly, more Republicans than Democrats said paying down the nation's debt was more important than maintaining current spending levels. Independents in the survey tended to side with Republicans more than Democrats on that issue, with 66 percent of them taking the position that reducing the debt was more important and 22 percent choosing spending over debt reduction as vital to budget matters.

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