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Peterson Foundation: Most Americans Say National Debt Is a Factor in Their Vote

By    |   Thursday, 30 October 2014 11:38 AM

More than four in five Americans say the nation's long-term debt is an important factor in deciding their vote this Election Day, and most are yearning for bipartisan compromise.

A new survey of 1,001 registered voters conducted for the Peter G. Peterson Foundation found that Republican, Democratic and Independent voters all want to support candidates who actually have a plan to cut the huge debt in the Nov. 4 mid-term election.

A total of 82 percent of voters said debt is an important issue when it comes to their vote for Congress this year, including 51 percent who believe it "extremely" or "very" important, the poll showed.

The issue crosses party lines, with seven in 10 respondents (70 percent) saying it is one of the three most important issues for deciding which candidate to support, including clear majorities of Democrats (63 percent), Independents (66 percent) and Republicans (83 percent).

In addition, 76 percent of the voters polled said it was important for candidates to trim the debt in order to create more opportunities for everyday Americans, 71 percent it was important to raise companies' confidence to make investments and hire more workers and 71 percent also said it was important to enable more small businesses to get loans they need.

A total of 73 percent said they would have preferred that candidates spent more time discussing the debt, with 61 percent being more motivated to vote if their candidates had spent more time on the issue, including majorities of Democrats (52 percent), Independents (60 percent) and Republicans (72 percent).

"Voters value bipartisan approach to solving nation's long-term debt challenges," the survey concluded. It found that in the case of a candidate "described as willing to work with the other party on a plan to reduce the debt," the share of voters open to voting for them rises to 74 percent from 58 percent for the Republican and to 69 percent from 56 percent for the Democrat.

Michael Peterson, president and COO of the nonpartisan group that focuses on the fiscal issues threatening the future of the United States, said Americans are aware debt reduction could spark economic growth, opportunity and investment.

"Voters also recognize that our fiscal challenges are too important to be overcome by partisan politics, and they are more likely to support candidates who are willing to work across the aisle to secure America's fiscal and economic future," he noted.

One Iowa congressman did the math and calculated that the current level of national debt "means each newborn child in the United States has a share of the national debt totaling a little more than $56,000," The Des Moines Register reported.

According to USDebtClock.org, the U.S. national debt stood at $17.9 trillion, or $153,062 per taxpayer — and it was still growing at an alarming rate.

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More than four in five Americans say the nation's long-term debt is an important factor in deciding their vote this Election Day, and most are yearning for bipartisan compromise.
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2014-38-30
Thursday, 30 October 2014 11:38 AM
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