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In Case You Missed It: Poll: More Americans Fear Higher National Debt Than Default

- May 25, 2011

‘Poll: More Americans Fear Higher National Debt Than Default’ 

Excerpts from The Washington Post

 

By: Lori Montgomery and Peyton M. Craighill
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

“The debate over whether to raise the legal limit on government borrowing has riveted Americans, with a large majority worried about the potential consequences regardless of whether Congress votes to allow the national debt to keep increasing.

“But when pressed to name their biggest concern, nearly half of respondents say they are alarmed by the prospect that the debt could grow beyond its current limit of $14.3 trillion, according to a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll. Only 35 percent say they are more worried about the risk of default and economic destabilization if Congress does not raise the debt limit.

“The poll vividly illustrates the dilemma facing lawmakers as they approach an Aug. 2 deadline on the debt ceiling. While congressional leaders in both parties have acknowledged that the Treasury needs to keep borrowing to pay the government’s bills, lawmakers are likely to face voters’ wrath if they can’t prove that they are also working to rein in the spiraling debt …

“The group agreed earlier this month to look more closely at proposed cuts, worth nearly $200 billion over the next decade, to a variety of programs. On Tuesday, it dove into the more contentious question of whether to cut Medicare and Medicaid, the biggest drivers of future borrowing — a top GOP priority. In return, however, Biden said he will insist that Republicans back down on their opposition to new taxes …

“House GOP leaders, meanwhile, scheduled a vote for next week on a measure to raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion without an accompanying debt-reduction package, a move intended to show that such legislation has no chance of passing. Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has said that any debt-limit increase must be paired with a package of spending cuts that equals or exceeds the amount by which the debt ceiling is raised …

“Among those who believe they are well-informed, 52 percent say they worry more about Congress raising the limit and permitting additional borrowing. By comparison, 37 percent worry more about the possibility of default. Those who consider themselves less well-informed are more evenly split, with 45 percent more worried about borrowing and 34 percent more concerned about default …

“Independents — crucial to the reelection prospects of as many as a dozen Senate Democrats, as well as President Obama — tend to side with Republicans. Among independents, 49 percent say they worry more about additional debt, while 34 percent say their bigger fear is the risk of default …

“The Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll was conducted by conventional phones and cell phones from May 19 to 22 and included interviews with 1,004 adults. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.”

 

Click Here To Read The Full Article: http://wapo.st/jXKiwl.





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