WASHINGTON TIMES — The Census Bureau recently released statistics showing how much America has changed in the last five decades, revealing that the active-duty military population has dropped from 3.4 million then to 1.3 million now. The diminished military has not been lost on the public: A new Gallup poll finds 49 percent of Americans say the U.S. is the top military power on the planet — down from 59 percent only a year ago.
Of note to presidential hopefuls: 67 percent of the respondents also believe “being No. 1” in military might is important. There are partisan kinks: 37 percent say the U.S. is not spending enough on the military, but 66 percent of Republicans and only 20 percent of Democrats agree. Another 32 percent say we’re spending too much, but here just 9 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Democrats in the poll agree. A hopeful 27 percent say the spending is “about right.” Among Republicans, it’s 23 percent, among the Democrats, 32 percent.