April 24, 2017

How Republicans and Democrats View Federal Spending

If you were making up the budget for the federal government this year, would you increase spending, decrease spending or keep spending the same for …

Republican/Lean Republican Democrat/Lean Democrat
20091 2011 2013 2017 2009 2011 2013 2017
% % % % % % % %
Health care  Increase spending  43 19 17 28 80 54 53 71
  Decrease spending 15 47 41 35 2 10 9 4
  Keep spending the same 34 30 36 33 15 33 34 24
  Don't know (VOL.) 7 5 6 4 2 3 4 1
 
Anti-terrorism defenses in the U.S.  Increase spending 50 35 33 61 30 31 33 33
  Decrease spending 5 18 15 7 17 22 21 15
  Keep spending the same 39 45 49 30 44 45 44 51
  Don't know (VOL.) 6 2 3 1 9 3 2 1
 
Veterans benefits and services  Increase spending 59 49 53 70 66 54 53 78
  Decrease spending 2 7 7 6 3 6 6 1
  Keep spending the same 31 43 39 22 28 39 38 20
  Don't know (VOL.) 8 2 2 2 3 1 3 1
 
The State Department and American embassies  Increase spending  8 17 10 10 13 20
  Decrease spending 37 39 29 27 27 17
  Keep spending the same 47 40 57 50 55 59
  Don't know (VOL.) 8 4 5 13 6 4
 
Social Security  Increase spending 33 34 36 46 45 53
  Decrease spending  19 17 10 7 6 3
  Keep spending the same 45 47 50 44 47 42
  Don't know (VOL.) 3 3 4 2 3 2
 
Rebuilding highways, bridges and roads  Increase spending  30 33 55 45 44 61
  Decrease spending 28 18 7 17 14 7
  Keep spending the same 40 47 36 36 41 31
  Don't know (VOL.) 2 1 1 2 1 1
 
Economic assistance to needy people in the U.S.  Increase spending 24 13 26 54 37 63
  Decrease spending 34 44 37 12 12 6
  Keep spending the same 37 38 35 33 48 30
  Don't know (VOL.) 5 5 2 1 3 1
 
Scientific research  Increase spending  25 28 25 33 51 44 46 60
  Decrease spending 21 32 30 20 8 14 14 6
  Keep spending the same 46 37 43 45 39 39 38 33
  Don't know (VOL.) 8 3 3 2 3 4 2 1
 
Military defense  Increase spending  54 36 44 71 29 28 22 31
  Decrease spending 10 23 14 8 23 37 34 27
  Keep spending the same 32 40 41 20 41 33 40 41
  Don't know (VOL.) 5 1 0 1 7 2 3 1
 
Government assistance for the unemployed  Increase spending 30 12 9 13 59 44 36 41
  Decrease spending 26 46 53 44 6 12 16 10
  Keep spending the same 38 40 37 40 30 39 45 48
  Don't know (VOL.) 5 2 1 2 5 4 3 1
 
Medicare  Increase spending  37 29 24 35 67 50 45 61
  Decrease spending  10 20 19 15 5 5 10 5
  Keep spending the same 48 48 54 50 26 40 43 33
  Don't know (VOL.) 4 4 2 0 3 5 1 1
 
Environmental protection  Increase spending 23 21 11 23 59 50 51 61
  Decrease spending 29 43 41 38 8 12 9 6
  Keep spending the same 44 34 47 38 28 37 37 33
  Don't know (VOL.) 4 2 1 1 4 2 3 1
 
Economic assistance to needy people around the world  Increase spending  14 12 7 13 35 29 30 41
  Decrease spending 40 65 70 56 24 28 32 13
  Keep spending the same 39 21 22 29 36 39 34 45
  Don't know (VOL.) 6 3 1 2 5 4 3 2
 
Education  Increase spending  53 47 45 52 81 78 72 78
Decrease spending 10 17 16 15 3 5 6 4
Keep spending the same 33 34 38 32 14 17 22 17
Don't know (VOL.) 4 2 1 1 2 1 1 1

Pew Research Center

 

See related report: “With Budget Debate Looming, Growing Share of Public Prefers Bigger Government”

  1. Data for 2009 is based on partisans without leaners.