Most Americans Don’t Support Higher Defense Spending

Most Americans Don’t Support Higher Defense Spending


President Trump’s 2020 budget calls for giving national defense a big increase in funding, to about $750 billion. According to recent polls, however, most Americans believe that current funding levels are just fine.

Gallup’s Frank Newport said Monday that Americans are generally satisfied with the country’s level of military strength and preparedness. A majority of Gallup poll respondents in January said the U.S. either spends enough or too much on defense. “The results suggest that President Donald Trump's current call for a substantially increased military budget in future years is not congruent with American public opinion,” Newport wrote.

More generally, Newport found that support for higher defense spending tends to fall as defense budgets go up. Conversely, support for higher spending tends to rise in periods when the defense budget is falling. By speaking frequently about his greatly enhanced defense budgets over the last two years, Trump may have signaled to the public that military spending is about right now, or maybe even a bit too high.