Stimson’s own Russell Rumbaugh joined Minnesota Public Radio on the air last week for a discussion of the future of American defense spending amid looming automatic reductions. The theme of the discussion quickly became the willingness of the American public to cut defense expenditures. Russell pointed out that, while there is bipartisan agreement that sequestration is bad policy,
There is [also] a great deal of agreement about what we should do with defense, and that is: spend less.
Stimson’s summertime defense spending poll vividly displays this preference. Respondents overwhelmingly made significant cuts to defense when given the chance to change the budget as they saw fit. It’s just one cause among many for the downward budgetary trend, even if sequester is averted.