April 11, 2019

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 2013 2017 2019 2009 2013 2017 2019
% % % % % % % %
Health care  Increase spending  43 17 28 27 80 53 71 73
  Decrease spending 15 41 35 33 2 9 4 5
  Keep spending the same 34 36 33 36 15 34 24 19
  Don't know (VOL.) 7 6 4 5 2 4 1 2
 
Anti-terrorism defenses in the U.S.  Increase spending 50 33 61 55 30 33 33 30
  Decrease spending 5 15 7 7 17 21 15 21
  Keep spending the same 39 49 30 35 44 44 51 45
  Don't know (VOL.) 6 3 1 4 9 2 1 5
 
Veterans benefits and services  Increase spending 59 53 70 71 66 53 78 72
  Decrease spending 2 7 6 4 3 6 1 3
  Keep spending the same 31 39 22 23 28 38 20 22
  Don't know (VOL.) 8 2 2 1 3 3 1 3
 
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 34 36 38 45 53 57
  Decrease spending  17 10 11 6 3 6
  Keep spending the same 47 50 49 47 42 33
  Don't know (VOL.) 3 4 2 3 2 4
 
Rebuilding highways, bridges and roads  Increase spending  33 55 57 44 61 64
  Decrease spending 18 7 9 14 7 7
  Keep spending the same 47 36 31 41 31 27
  Don't know (VOL.) 1 1 4 1 1 3
 
Economic assistance to needy people in the U.S.  Increase spending 13 26 27 37 63 62
  Decrease spending 44 37 29 12 6 9
  Keep spending the same 38 35 40 48 30 27
  Don't know (VOL.) 5 2 4 3 1 2
 
Scientific research  Increase spending  25 25 33 40 51 46 60 62
  Decrease spending 21 30 20 20 8 14 6 8
  Keep spending the same 46 43 45 37 39 38 33 28
  Don't know (VOL.) 8 3 2 3 3 2 1 2
 
Military defense  Increase spending  54 44 71 56 29 22 31 26
  Decrease spending 10 14 8 10 23 34 27 31
  Keep spending the same 32 41 20 32 41 40 41 39
  Don't know (VOL.) 5 0 1 3 7 3 1 3
 
Government assistance for the unemployed  Increase spending 30 9 13 10 59 36 41 47
  Decrease spending 26 53 44 39 6 16 10 10
  Keep spending the same 38 37 40 46 30 45 48 40
  Don't know (VOL.) 5 1 2 5 5 3 1 3
 
Medicare  Increase spending  37 24 35 38 67 45 61 68
  Decrease spending  10 19 15 13 5 10 5 4
  Keep spending the same 48 54 50 46 26 43 33 26
  Don't know (VOL.) 4 2 0 3 3 1 1 2
 
Environmental protection  Increase spending 23 11 23 29 59 51 61 73
  Decrease spending 29 41 38 29 8 9 6 3
  Keep spending the same 44 47 38 40 28 37 33 22
  Don't know (VOL.) 4 1 1 2 4 3 1 2
 
Economic assistance to needy people around the world  Increase spending  14 7 13 15 35 30 41 49
  Decrease spending 40 70 56 50 24 32 13 12
  Keep spending the same 39 22 29 31 36 34 45 36
  Don't know (VOL.) 6 1 2 3 5 3 2 3
 
Education  Increase spending  53 45 52 56 81 72 78 84
Decrease spending 10 16 15 16 3 6 4 4
Keep spending the same 33 38 32 26 14 22 17 11
Don't know (VOL.) 4 1 1 2 2 1 1 1

Pew Research Center

 

See related report: “Little Public Support for Reductions in Federal Spending”

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