Key defense survey charts

  • Discretionary spending
    (in billions)

    The discretionary budget is what Congress has the chance to decide every year. This graphic shows the relative level of expenditures on different programs. The disparities provoked broad surprise in the survey, although other ways of comparing defense and non-defense spending prompted less surprise.

  • Cuts made by respondents

  • Most convincing arguments

    All of the arguments had solid majority support (ie from more than 50 percent of respondents). This graphic lists those that won the most passionate endorsement, from people who rated them as “very convincing” as opposed to just “somewhat convincing” or unconvincing.

  • Existing programs that respondents chose to cut

    This graphic depicts the specific, existing programs that respondents on average chose to cut the most in proportional terms.

  • Salience of Pro and Con arguments

    This graphic that shows the salience of different arguments about defense spending.

  • Amount that respondents cut, on average

    These are the cuts that respondents chose to make, on average, for nine key military mission areas, after reading about their purposes and what experts have been saying.