• Polling

Vast Majorities of Americans Intensely Support Increasing Funding for Programs

Thursday, November 30, 2023 By Gabriela Parra
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Poll: Views of Government Funding

This Navigator Research report contains polling data on the level of support for increasing funding for a variety of public programs including Social Security and Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and nutrition assistance, as well as messaging guidance for communicating about increasing public investment against cutting spending on those programs.

Vast majorities support more investment in programs like Social Security and Medicare.


Large majorities of Americans not only oppose cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicare, nutrition assistance for vulnerable families, and Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, but also overwhelmingly support investing more in them. This survey contained a split-sample experiment where half of respondents were asked about cutting spending for a variety of programs and the other half of respondents were asked about increasing funding in the same list of programs. The most widely opposed cuts include funding for retirement programs, like Social Security and Medicare (net -68; 13 percent support – 81 percent oppose), funding for nutrition assistance for children and vulnerable families (net -63; 15 percent support – 78 percent oppose), funding for K-12 public schools (net -61; 16 percent support – 77 percent oppose), and funding for health care, including Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (net -54; 20 percent support – 74 percent oppose). When looking at these same programs and asking support for increasing investment in them, there is equal or even higher levels of support for additional funding, including increasing funding for retirement programs, like Social Security and Medicare (net +71; 82 percent support – 11 percent oppose), funding for nutrition assistance for children and vulnerable families (net +60; 76 percent support – 16 percent opposed), funding for health care, including Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (net +59; 76 percent support – 17 percent oppose), and funding for K-12 public schools (net +54; 73 percent support – 19 percent oppose).

  • Nearly three in four Americans also support increasing funding for housing assistance programs for low-income families (72 percent), funding for childcare programs (72 percent), and increasing IRS funding to crack down on wealthy tax cheats and big corporations (70 percent).
  • Importantly, there was significantly stronger support for increasing funding in the IRS to crack down on wealthy tax cheats and big corporations (net +49; 70 percent support – 21 percent oppose) than there was opposition to cutting IRS funding (net -11; 40 percent support – 51 percent oppose).
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Majorities Oppose Cuts to All Programs Tested and Support Increasing Funding Instead

Majorities agree with progressive arguments over conservative arguments on inflation and government spending.


More Americans agree with progressive statements that the government should increase spending on public investment over conservative arguments that we need to focus on “stopping wasteful government spending and handouts.” When presenting the conservative argument that “in order to fight inflation, the number one focus should be on stopping wasteful government spending and hand-outs” against four progressive rebuttals, the conservative argument lost in each head-to-head test. One of the strongest progressive arguments centered on increasing public investment, including more agreeing with a statement that “we should be actually increasing, not decreasing public investment in veterans’ benefits, healthcare, child care, and education” (54 percent) over the conservative argument (46 percent). Navigator has consistently found that centering increased investments in programs that help lower costs for middle and working class families is an effective framing when talking about Americans’ deeply negative perceptions of the current economy.

  • Another progressive argument that performed well against the conservative argument emphasized being “focused on lowering inflation by passing legislation to reduce prescription drug costs, health care premiums, and energy costs” (net +8; 54 percent progressive argument – 46 percent conservative argument).
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Americans Side With Democrats Narrowly on a Range of Inflation Statements

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About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from November 9-November 13, 2023. 105 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 72 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 103 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org