Society

Study Finds Support For Defense Spending Cut

| by Jordan Smith
A fleet of armored U.S. military vehiclesA fleet of armored U.S. military vehicles

A study carried out by the University of Maryland's Program for Public Consultation has shown that President Donald Trump's budget proposal is at odds with public sentiment in a number of areas.

One of the most significant areas was defense spending, where the president is calling for an increase of $54 billion, equivalent to approximately 10 percent of the military budget, according to Salon.

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Respondents to the survey, carried out online among more than 1,800 people, found that Americans favor a cut in defense spending of $41 billion.

Discussing his proposal in February, Trump said at the White House that the budget "will include a historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it," according to CNBC.

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Trump argued that savings could be found elsewhere and that it would be possible to do more with less.

"It is a true America first budget. It will show the president is keeping his promises and doing exactly what he said he was going to do when he ran for office," White House budget director Mick Mulvaney added.

However, major differences also emerged on other issues. After reviewing the top ten areas of budget spending, the study found a gap of $139.6 billion between what the public wanted to spend and what Trump is proposing.

At the Department of Homeland Security, where Trump is pushing for a $2.4 billion spending increase, a majority of respondents backed a $ 2 billion cut.

There was also a $9 billion gap between Trump's education budget and what the public called for. Trump's $6.2 billion cut to the public housing budget was rejected, with a majority stating they wanted to hold the level of spending steady.

Expectations were more aligned on the budget for the State Department and U.S. agency for International Development. Trump is proposing a $10.1 billion reduction, while the survey found that respondents back a $4 billion cut. A divide exists along party lines, with Republicans wanting to cut as much as Trump while Democrats backed maintaining the current spending level.

Even some Republicans have expressed their unhappiness with Trump's spending plan.

"Where's the populism?" Steve Bell, a Republican and former Senate Budget Committee director, said, according to CNBC.

Republican Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky called the planned spending cuts "draconian, careless and counterproductive," while Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York, a close Trump ally, said he had concerns about "significant cuts to local programs, which I believe go too far."

Sources: Salon, CNBC (2) / Photo credit: DVIDSHUB/Flickr

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