Pew survey: Public lacks enthusiasm for specific spending cuts

But pluralities of those surveyed want increased spending in five areas: Sixty-two percent of those surveyed want to see increases to education spending, 51 percent want to see increases for veterans' benefits, 41 percent for healthcare, 40 percent for Medicare and 39 percent for fighting crime.

More people want spending increased than decreased for energy, science, environmental protection, anti-terrorism, agriculture and defense.

The survey shows decreasing support in all the categories for spending compared to the same survey in 2009, with healthcare spending support dropping by 20 percentage points and unemployment benefits support dropping by 17 percentage points.

The survey was conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press from Feb. 2-7 among 1,385 adults and was released Thursday.