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Survey: Americans don’t want empire — we want a functioning country

The spending priorities of everyday Americans is not what’s reflected in the massive federal budget, according to a survey of 1,000 Americans taken last month which found overwhelming support for cutting defense and investing in education, science, transportation and a range of human services.

“Interestingly, Americans had very different ideas about how that mandatory money should be allocated compared to how it’s spent today,” the GovSpend.com study said. “Men and women believed less money should be spent on Social Security and Medicare, while spending on programs for veterans, food and agriculture, and transportation should roughly double.”

“As for discretionary funding? Americans thought military spending should be cut in half and education, science, and energy and environment deserved to be roughly doubled or more,” it said. “According to the 2018 fiscal budget, Department of Defense spending will equate to over $ 639 billion, while education will account for $ 59 billion.”

These findings don’t fit neatly within Democratic or Republican orthodoxies. As a party, Democrats believe that earned benefits like Social Security should be preserved and expanded to match costs of living increases. Republicans, as a party, back increased military spending, whether current threats are looming or not.

However, the survey’s findings are particularly timely because in two weeks Congress will face its fourth deadline since September 30 to pass a 2018 budget. Before October 1, when the federal fiscal year begins, Congress passed the first of three so-called continuing resolutions to keep government level funded from 2017’s budget. The last of those resolutions expires on Friday, January 19.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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