UNITED STATES NEWS

Most say pair debt limit increase with deficit cuts, but few following debate closely: AP-NORC poll

May 18, 2023, 9:08 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — About two-thirds of U.S. adults say they are highly concerned about the impact on ongoing debt limit negotiations.

The poll shows about 6 in 10 say they want any increase in the debt limit to be coupled with agreed-upon terms for reducing the federal budget deficit. At the same time, Americans are more likely to disapprove than approve of how President Joe Biden and congressional negotiators on both sides of the aisle are handling negotiations. Still, slightly more approve of Biden’s handling of the situation than of congressional Republicans.

The new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows 27% say they approve of Biden and 26% say the same about congressional Democrats, while 22% approve of congressional Republicans. Close to half disapprove of each.

Sixty-six year-old Robert Hutchins says he somewhat approves of how House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Republicans in Congress are handling negotiations.

“At least he’s trying to do something,” the Republican from Milton, Delaware, said of McCarthy’s leadership over his conference. “The Democrats want to spend more money and they don’t want any limit to it.”

Hutchins said he doesn’t have “any confidence whatsoever” in Biden and doesn’t believe in abolishing the debt ceiling, as it serves as a constant reminder of the nation’s debt load, which currently stands at $31.4 trillion.

Otherwise, “you just think you have an unlimited credit card and you can spend whatever you want,” he said.

Overall, about 2 in 10 U.S. adults say they are following negotiations over raising the debt limit extremely or very closely, and about 4 in 10 are following somewhat closely. Similarly, about 2 in 10 say they understand the situation very well and about 4 in 10 say they understand it somewhat well.

Still, a clear majority — 63% — say they think negotiations over the debt limit should be coupled with terms to reduce the budget deficit. Nineteen percent say the debt limit should be raised without conditions and 16% say it should not be raised at all. Overall, the adults who say they understand the debate best are especially likely to say the debt limit should be increased without conditions — 37% say so, compared with 50% who say it should be tied to terms about reducing the budget deficit.

A default would likely spell catastrophe for the U.S. economy, with spillover throughout the globe, and would prompt a probable recession.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned this week that a national default would destroy jobs and businesses, and leave millions of families who rely on federal government payments to “likely go unpaid,” including Social Security beneficiaries, veterans and military families.

An AP-NORC poll conducted earlier this year also shows little consensus on cuts that would make a dent in the deficit: While most Americans said the government spends too much overall, majorities favored increased spending on popular and expensive programs including Medicare and Social Security.

Similar percentages of Republicans and Democrats say they are following and understanding negotiations, and concern about the economy if the U.S. defaults is widely bipartisan. But about a third of Democrats say the national debt limit should be increased without conditions, while just 6% of Republicans say the same.

Twenty-three percent of Republicans but just 7% of Democrats say the national debt limit should not be increased under any circumstances.

Aaron Loessberg-Zahl, a 33-year-old Democrat from San Jose, California, said the debt ceiling should be raised without conditions, and called the statutory limit on borrowing “arbitrary.”

“Congress already controls the purse strings, they approve the annual budgets for our government,” Loessberg-Zahl said, “and I think that’s plenty of control over the spending.”

He called the debate over whether and how to raise the debt ceiling “not productive” and said he approves of the president’s handling of negotiations.

Loessberg-Zahl said, “My belief is that those people probably don’t understand the full ramifications of what would happen if the country were to default.”

___

The poll of 1,680 adults was conducted May 11-15 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

United States News

Stuart Dryden reaches for an item at a grocery store on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, in Arlington, Va....

Associated Press

Consumers are pushing back against price increases at stores — and winning

Consumers are fighting back against food price increases by turning their backs on high-end brands and purchasing store-label products instead.

5 hours ago

Rock Creek Forest Elementary School students exit a diesel bus before attending school, Friday, Feb...

Associated Press

Electric school buses finally make headway, but hurdles still stand

The first electric school buses in the United States began running a decade ago in three school districts in California, providing a ride that was much less noisy, smelly and dirty than the diesel buses kids and parents were used to. Yet despite the availability of the technology all these years, fewer than one percent […]

7 hours ago

A calendar shows the month of February, including leap day, Feb. 29, on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in S...

Associated Press

What would happen without a Leap Day? More than you might think

NEW YORK (AP) — Leap year. It’s a delight for the calendar and math nerds among us. So how did it all begin and why? Have a look at some of the numbers, history and lore behind the (not quite) every four year phenom that adds a 29th day to February. BY THE NUMBERS The […]

16 hours ago

FILE - Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim greets supporters outside Central High School on the day of the r...

Associated Press

Fatigue and frustration as final do-over mayoral election looms in Connecticut’s largest city

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — It’s been nearly four months since a judge tossed out the results of a Democratic mayoral primary in Connecticut’s largest city due to allegations of ballot stuffing, sending voters repeatedly back to the polls and thrusting Bridgeport into an unflattering national spotlight. Many frustrated local voters say they just want it […]

16 hours ago

Homes are seen on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in the southwest Portland, Ore., suburb of Beaverton. Th...

Associated Press

A housing shortage is testing Oregon’s pioneering land use law. Lawmakers are poised to tweak it

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A severe lack of affordable housing has prompted Oregon lawmakers to consider chipping away at a 1970s law that made the state a national leader in leveraging land use policy to prevent suburban sprawl and conserve nature and agriculture. The so-called urban growth boundary, a sacred cow of Oregon’s liberal politics, […]

16 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump hugs and kisses the American flag a...

Associated Press

Trump calls himself a ‘proud political dissident’ in CPAC speech

In a CPAC speech, Trump painted an apocalyptic vision of the future if President Joe Biden wins again as the two prepare for a rematch.

20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Most say pair debt limit increase with deficit cuts, but few following debate closely: AP-NORC poll