Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Americans Support Big Defense Cuts?

Over the past 3 years, US federal budget deficits have averaged over $1 trillion per year, and there is no sign of reduction in federal spending -- nor any sign of significant increased revenues -- for the next decade. Where should a more frugal government start to cut spending? Defense? Social Programs? Environmental Agencies? Interest on debt?

Here are projected annual increases in spending categories for the US federal budget from 2012 thru 2022:
Annual rates of increase in major spending categories budgeted for the 2012-2022 period were: Defense: 1.8% Non-defense discretionary: 1.6% Social Security: 5.8% Medicare: 6.6% Medicaid: 8.5% Net interest: 14.2% Total spending: 5.0%[6] _Wiki

You can see that the big losers in future budgets are defense and non-defense discretionary. Mandatory spending is skyrocketing.
Given the above, it may seem odd that American voters are not more angry about government over-spending across the board. Instead, the ire of American voters is directed mainly toward defense budgets.

Americans of all stripes have had enough of massive Pentagon budgets and want significant cuts in defense spending, according to new survey data released on Monday.

In Republican and Democratic districts across the country, 74 percent and 80 percent of respective voters said they want less defense spending, the study found.

On average, voters indicated that they wanted a budget for fiscal 2013 that would be nearly 20 percent less than current defense spending.

With $645 billion enacted for total defense spending this year, the average voter’s preferred budget for next year, an 18 percent cut, would translate into a $116 billion savings—money lawmakers trying to balance the budget could sorely use.

“The idea that Americans’ would want to keep total defense spending up so as to preserve local jobs is not supported by the data,” said Steven Kull, director of the Program for Public Consultation, which conducted the survey with the Stimson Center and the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism group. Read more at _NatJournal

H/T Mish

What voters do not understand is that defense spending has been decreasing as a proportion of total spending, for quite some time. The image below demonstrates how mandatory spending is growing, at the expense of discretionary spending:


Mandatory spending is growing exponentially, and is destined to crowd out all discretionary spending including both defense and non-defense discretionary. So why isn't the skankstream media -- both news and entertainment -- informing the public about the truth of budget trends? Because media executives see no benefit to themselves in keeping the public informed. Yes, they are happy to indoctrinate the public to their own benefit, but objective information that is crucial to average citizens lives? Not so much.
US Federal Budget Doomed to Swamp US Economy

Spend-happy US politicians have put the US economy into a huge bind, and the clock is ticking down.

The US defense budget should certainly be given a good trimming, but the same thing is true for the US government budget as a whole. If things go on as under the current administration, the US will not be able to afford its defense infrastructure quite soon, anyway. It will be slashed, regardless, by necessity.

The US public is quite naive about the nature, extent, and rate of growth of US government spending. And so far, no one seems willing to paint a clear, broad, objective picture -- not even Mish.

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