WashPost/Pew Poll: Americans Fear Debt Ceiling Hike

Wednesday, 25 May 2011 12:16 PM

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Americans are more troubled about the prospect of another hike in the U.S. debt ceiling than they are about warnings that the federal government will go into default if the ceiling isn’t raised, according to a Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll.

Debt ceiling, Americans, Washington Post, PewNearly half of Americans, 48 percent, worry that raising the debt ceiling will hurt the U.S. economy, compared with 35 percent who worry that not raising it will do economic damage, the Post reports on the poll, conducted May 19-22.

The findings suggest that congressional Republicans have done a better job than Democrats of promoting their position, which is that spending cuts must accompany any lifting of the debt ceiling. Democrats and the White House argue that the debt ceiling must be raised without preconditions, as it has been every year, because a default on federal obligations will invite a few financial catastrophe.


But additional debt appears to concern Americans more than dire economic scenarios. Half of those polled said they understand the consequences of not raising the debt limit “well” (18 percent) or “fairly well” (32 percent), while 48 percent said they understood the consequences “not too well” (26 percent) or “not at all” (21 percent).

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