Chinook helicopters take off after offloading mail and supplies at Forward Operating Base Kalagush in the Nuristan province of Afghanistan in 2007. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Isaac A. Graham)

In the context of reducing the budget deficit, a new Bloomberg poll (PDF) asked Americans if they would support pulling all troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. The poll found an overwhelming 66 percent would favor this action, while only 30 percent oppose it.

A full withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan was one of only three ideas polled that would actually reduce the deficit that had majority support. The others were cutting aid to foreign countries (72 percent favor, 26 percent oppose) and repealing the tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000 a year (59 percent favor, 37 percent oppose). Repealing health care is favored by 52 percent, but that would actually increase the deficit.

While Washington squabbles over the Republican proposals to cut just $61 billion from mostly popular domestic program designed help people in need, ignored is the fact that two-thirds of Americans are actually in agreement about a major deficit reduction plan that would save us $170 billion a year (PDF) by ending our senseless foreign natio-building operations.

Despite a super-majority of Americans supporting pulling all troops out of Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is actually taking about keeping troops there after 2014. I don’t know if the unbelievable disconnect between Americans and the government that  is supposed to be representing them has ever been so great.