Echoing resistance to raising the nation’s debt ceiling among the public at large, 53% of Americans who say they are following the issue very closely in the news want their member of Congress to vote against raising the debt limit, while 37% urge a vote in favor.
This 16-percentage-point margin against raising the debt limit among the most attentive Americans is similar to the 20-point margin among those following the matter somewhat closely, 48% vs. 28%. Those not following the issue closely are also more likely to want their member of Congress to vote against raising the debt limit than for it; however, the majority, 59%, have no opinion.
Similarly, the Americans most attentive to the debt ceiling issue are no more anxious about the potential negative economic fallout should the debt ceiling not be raised than are those paying less attention to the issue. The majority of those following the issue very closely say they are more worried that the government would raise the debt ceiling without plans for major cuts in future spending than they are that not raising the debt ceiling would result in a major economic crisis.
The United States should honor its financial obligations but there needs to be dramatic reform, otherwise the POLS will just spend more money (which we don’t have) to get re-elected. If the President and Congress cannot agree on a long term deal then they should pass a short term one and revisit the issue in six months.
And, President Obama should refrain from trying to scare senior citizens. This is demagoguery at its worse and most seniors understand that it is all Obama bluster in order to obtain votes for his re-election effort.
Americans’ general opposition to raising the nation’s debt ceiling limit — at least in the abstract — does not primarily reflect low public awareness of the president’s warnings about the perils of not raising it. In fact, the majority of Americans who say they are following the issue very closely oppose it, and are more concerned about the impact that raising the debt limit would have on future U.S. deficit spending than the possibility of an economic crisis if it is not raised.
In trying to win more public support for raising the debt ceiling, President Obama appealed to seniors Tuesday, warning that failure to do so could put a freeze on Social Security checks as soon as Aug. 3. Obama’s approval rating among seniors is currently at 39%, the lowest of any age group. However, seniors are also the age group paying closest attention to the deficit issue and might be persuaded to rethink their position on the debt ceiling (currently 26% are in favor of raising it and 48% opposed) if they believe their retirement income is at risk.