Saturday, March 04, 2017

Most Don't Agree That The Military Needs More Money

Donald Trump has called for an increase in spending for the Defense Department of about $54 billion -- the largest increase by any recent president. He does this in spite of the fact that the U.S. military budget already far exceeds that of any other country (and is about the size of the next 10 largest spenders combined).

Does the United States need to spend more money on national defense? Most Americans don't think so. Only 37% say the country is spending too little, while 59% say the current level of spending is about right or too much. That 59% don't want more military spending -- especially when there are so many domestic issues that could use that money.

Trump does have majority support for the increase among his Republican base. About 62% say the U.S. is spending too little on national defense. Democrats and Independents disagree -- with only 15% of Democrats and 34% of Independents saying too little is spent on the military.

I think it's a bit of a misnomer to call our military spending "national defense". Much of that spending is used to keep open over 900 U.S. military bases around the world. Do we really need 900 military bases (most in other countries) to defend this country? Of course not. Those bases are for empire-building -- not national defense. This country could be adequately defended on far less money than is currently being spent on the military.

The charts above are from the Gallup Poll -- done between February 1st and 5th of a random national sample of 1,035 adults, and has a 4 point margin of error.

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