Updated March 28 at 10:39am

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this week’s poll

Which is more important, cutting federal spending or retaining defense spending?

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Last week President Barack Obama’s budget proposal included $25 billion less in spending on weapons and research for the Defense Department, with the possibility that some of those cuts would affect three major Rhode Island employers - Electric Boat, Raytheon and Textron.

One reason for the trims is the need to rein in federal spending. The question for Rhode Islanders is, which is more important, bringing federal spending down or keeping the federal contracts going at the same levels so more Rhode Islanders can find jobs?

defense department, barack obama, electric boat, raytheon, textron, budget deficit

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MikeH477

I think the poll question posits a false choice. Defense spending IS federal spending. Yes, RI is struggling, and yes, our defense sector jobs are hugely important to our local economy and, of course, to all of the RI families who rely on them. Our national defense, however, obviously is a sector of the federal government.

Also, assessing the last question in the article — "Which is more important, bringing federal spending down or keeping the federal contracts going at the same levels so more Rhode Islanders can find jobs?" — I don't think we can assume that if our local congressional delegation can keep the federal contracts coming to RI, it automatically follows that MORE RIers will find jobs. There are just too many other variables at play.

Mike Healey

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