Lifestyle

Published on January 3rd, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Poll Shows Public Demand For Increased National Security Spending

(NAPSI)—Today, our country is facing an unprecedented range of threats that require a more robust response than the current budget limits on national security and research and development spending allow.

When the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 was signed into law, ISIS was an unknown entity in the Middle East. Three years ago, Russia hadn’t invaded a neighboring country and committed to increasing weapons spending by 85 percent through 2017. Back then, official Washington was still debating the reasons for China’s military growth, which has now produced new stealth fighters, deployment of its first nuclear fleet ballistic missile submarine, and testing of hypersonic missiles. And three years ago, some experts were convinced cyber attacks were just a nuisance. What North Korean operatives reportedly did in hacking into Sony Pictures’ computer systems is just one of many recent disturbing cyber assaults on U.S. businesses and federal government agencies. Yet we’re on course to cut more than $1 trillion from national security budgets through 2022. What do the American people think about this?

In a recent poll, two-thirds of registered voters (69 percent) say that given the evolving and increased threats to America’s security, the U.S. government should increase spending on America’s national security relative to the budget caps set more than three years ago. The Aerospace Industries Association released this data in December from a study conducted on its behalf by Harris Poll. It also revealed that after discussing present and future security threats facing the United States, the same number of voters (69 percent) say they would be more likely to support a candidate for public office who supports increased spending on national security. The study was conducted by telephone in November among over 800 registered voters.

“These numbers don’t surprise me one iota—the public understands the need to invest in national security, and the aerospace technologies that help provide that security and propel economic advancement,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “The new Congress should sit up and listen to them attentively.”

A majority of voters across party lines (83 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Independents and 60 percent of Democrats) share the sentiment that the U.S. government should increase national security spending relative to current budget caps. In addition, nearly four out of five voters (78 percent) say they believe threats to American security raised by increased activity from ISIS/ISL, al Qaeda and other groups in Syria and Iraq are increasing, including majorities of Republicans (90 percent), Independents (75 percent) and Democrats (69 percent). Finally, 73 percent say they believe the United States is less secure due to cuts of nearly $1 trillion over the 2012−2022 time frame in planned budgets for the military, including majorities across the entire political spectrum (Republicans—90 percent, Independents—71 percent, Democrats—55 percent).

“Public polls are at historic lows in terms of voter perceptions of Congress,” Blakey said. “If this new Congress is to restore any faith in our political process, they can start in January by revisiting the budget caps to reflect today’s needs for investment in space, infrastructure and national security.”

The study was conducted November 13−16th, 2014 by telephone by Harris Poll on behalf of AIA among 818 registered voters nationally, with a sampling error of 3.6 percent. Highlights of the poll can be found here: www.aia-aerospace.org/research_reports/year-end_review_and_forecast/. A full methodology is available upon request. Results are weighted to be representative of voters demographically and geographically across the United States.

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