This should be a wake up call for all the deficit peacocks, Leon Panetta most definitely included, who want to protect the Pentagon at all costs against spending cuts. They're totally on the wrong side of public opinion. Even in Iowa. Among Republicans.
Likely Republican caucusgoers sent a strong message to GOP presidential candidates in an Iowa AARP survey [link added] released Thursday, showing they’re strongly opposed to cuts to Social Security and Medicare and would much rather reduce military spending to address the federal deficit. [...]
The survey of 400 likely Republican caucusgoers by GS Strategy Group shows 64.5 percent are opposed to Social Security cuts, and 67.3 percent to Medicare cuts. Another 86 percent of those surveyed said Social Security benefits are important to their monthly income, and 87 percent said Medicare is essential to seniors’ health care security.
Those surveyed would much prefer withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan to cutting Medicare (67.3 percent to 9.5 percent) or Social Security (65 percent to 8.8 percent).
Of those surveyed, 76.8 percent identified themselves as conservative and 50.5 percent as very conservative.
It doesn't get a whole lot more conservative than conservative in Iowa. Leon Panetta might think there's no room in the defense budget to cut, but America—even Bush/Cheney-supporting America—knows better.