Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

Americans Favor Airstrikes to Combat ISIS But Are Unsure How to Pay for It, As Usual

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The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds that a solid majority—66 percent—of Americans favors conducting air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. While 52 percent oppose sending ground troops to Iraq, 58 percent believe sending at least a small number of troops (24%) or even a large number (34%) will be necessary to successfully combat ISIS.

While Politicians often wish to avoid discussing trade-offs, the Reason-Rupe poll asked Americans how they would like to pay for military against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Somewhat predictably, two groups emerge: 35 percent say cut non-entitlement federal spending, another 34 percent say raise taxes on wealthy people. Another 8 percent say we should raise taxes on all income groups, 6 percent want to borrow the money, and 4 percent want to cut entitlement programs to pay for military action.

If federal spending had to be cut to pay for military action, Americans say they would first cut social safety net programs (19%) like food stamps, unemployment benefits, and Medicaid, another 17 percent say they would cut infrastructure and transportation spending. Nine percent would cut government-funded science and medical research, 7 percent would cut entitlement programs, 3 percent would cut education, 2 percent would cut veterans programs. In fact, a total of 8 percent actually volunteered another answer that was not offered on the survey: cutting Congressional salaries. Another three percent said there were literally no programs that could be cut. One middle-aged man from Philadelphia said "none of the programs" could be cut because "they are all vital to our survival." Twelve percent offered a variety of other smaller programs to cut, and another 19 percent didn't know what to cut.

Overall, these data reflect a predictable pattern—Americans want other people to bear the costs of various government activity, either in form of taxing rich people or cutting social services for low-income individuals.

The Reason-Rupe national telephone poll, executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, conducted live interviews with 1004 adults on cell phones (503) and landlines (501) October 1-6, 2014. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.8%. Full poll results can be found here including poll toplines (pdf)  and crosstabs (xls). 

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  1. Where is the choice for “Fed prints more dollars”?

    1. It in there you idiot. It is called “borrowing”.

      1. because borrowing and spending are totally the same thing in fiat world

      2. Do I detect a hint, a spark, a fleeting flash of intelligence?

        Nah, It’s still Weigel-town.

      3. Sure you wanna keep playing, shreek? The game’s always between you and getting called a cunt. That dropped eye of yours looks like the hood on a cunt to me, shreek. When you talk, your mouth looks like a cunt moving.

  2. In the second pie chart, I am shocked – SCHOCKED – that “Cut Foreign Aid” isn’t in there. Cause that’s always one of the top things to cut, and it totally makes sense, since foreign aid is, like, 75% of our buudget*.

    *stipulating that, regardless of the amount, I’d argue it’s stupid spending that should approach zero, but cutting it ain’t gonna “fix the budget” or “offset” anything except maybe purchasing a couple $600 hammers or something

    1. The bombing ‘is’ foreign aid. 😉

    2. Why do we need foreign aids when we have plenty of aids found locally? this is why we need immigration reform even our viruses are getting replaced by cheap imports.

  3. ” Overall, these data reflect a predictable pattern?Americans want other people to bear the costs of various government activity, either in form of taxing rich people or cutting social services for low-income individuals.”

    Because not giving is totally the same as taking. It’s a little early to start drinking, but for a magazine called Reason…

  4. Poor Rich, getting his taxes raised…

    1. Hey, fuck that guy – he deserves it

  5. Another three percent said there were literally no programs that could be cut.

    “I’m FINALLY getting through to them!” – N. Pelosi

    1. Without the CDC to do studies on guns in the home and lesbian obesity, where would we be?

  6. This could not explain America’s current state of affairs any better. They voted for a man to pull out of an unstable area after long and hard fought victories–with stability within reach. Next when shit hits the fan they go for easy optics and novelty acts that will do absolutely nothing; then are uncertain of how to pay for it all as they are unwilling to make any sacrafices to their massively bloated spending. All to pay more when interim occupation will have been the cheapest option in the long run.

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