Last week at the Council on Foreign Relations, BFAD’s own Matt Leatherman took part in a roundtable, What Does the Public Really Think About Defense Spending? When discussing our recent survey on the subject, Matt noted:
If we are on the right track strategy wise; respondents want it to be much stricter. They think policy makers have been too tentative policy wise. They cut the budget by about 18% on the item by item basis. That’s a figure of $103.5 billion …American’s views, as expressed here, are one of the reasons why national defense will remain on the table after the election for whatever deal is struck to replace sequester. The debate is not necessarily about sequester. The debate is about what happens to the defense budget trend and the biggest takeaway from this survey is that Americans have some opinion on what that trend ought to be.
Though there’s been a lot of shadow plays and sideshow about sequestration’s effects, the public doesn’t seem terribly perturbed by more defense cuts. To hear this panel discussion in its entirety, listen to CFR’s podcast of the event.