More than 70 percent of surveyed voters worry the costs of the the Afghan war will hamstring the government's ability to handle domestic concerns, according to a new poll.
Seventy-three percent told Gallup in its latest measure, released Friday, that they were "very" or "somewhat" fearful the White House's newly announced troop surge would make it difficult for Congress and the president to tackle such issues as healthcare and the economy in the coming months.
By contrast, only 26 percent signaled they were not concerned the new strategy's cost -- estimated to be about $30 billion -- would in any way complicate domestic policymaking.
Ultimately, those numbers perhaps raise the stakes for lawmakers in both parties, who have yet to broach the matter of troop funding formally.
So far, a few Democrats have floated the idea of a "war surtax" to pay for the president's intended surge of more than 30,000 new troops. But a number of the majority party's members -- not to mention, most congressional Republicans -- remain staunchly opposed to unveiling new fees during an economic crisis.
Still others hope to use the war funding process to signal their opposition to the entirety of the Afghan war. A number of Democrats, in particular, have threatened to do whatever is necessary to prevent the president from fulfilling the troop commitment he announced in his address at West Point Academy on Tuesday.
Lawmakers in that camp, however, can take some solace in another set of numbers Gallup released Friday: About 48 percent of surveyed voters believe the president's newly unveiled Afghan troop surge will accomplish its intended goals. Conversely, 45 percent indicated it would be unlikely to fall short of expectations.
Interestingly enough, more than half -- a number that includes those skeptical of the president's plan -- also believe troop withdrawal could make the United States more vulnerable domestic terrorism.