Americans oppose raising debt ceiling by more than 2-1 in Gallup survey

posted at 12:55 pm on May 13, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The trend among pollsters appears to be consistent on the question of raising the federal government’s credit limit.  A recent CBS poll put flat-out opposition to a debt-ceiling hike at 2-1, and Gallup’s latest survey shows the same dynamic, even if it also shows a third of respondents too unengaged to offer an opinion:

By a 47% to 19% margin, Americans say they would want their member of Congress to vote against raising the U.S. debt ceiling, while 34% don’t know enough to say. Republicans oppose raising the debt ceiling by 70% to 8% and independents by 46% to 15%. Democrats favor raising the ceiling by 33% to 26%. …

A majority of Americans (57%) say they are closely following the news about “discussions to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, the maximum amount of money the U.S. government can borrow by law.” Republicans are following the issue more closely than are Democrats and independents; upper-income Americans are following it more closely than lower-income Americans; and those with a postgraduate education more so than those with a high school education or less.

The topline results give Republicans a lot of ammunition in the battle over the debt ceiling, but the large number of unengaged on the issue could be a problem.  For the 43% who haven’t followed the issue closely, the scare tactics that the Obama administration first deployed could become effective if that’s the only message that reaches them.  The GOP will have to press their case hard in the media that we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem, and we need spending reductions rather than enabling more borrowing — or at least in tandem.

For the White House, though, this is all bad news.  First, their own party is the most disengaged on the topic.  Two thirds of Republicans (66%) are following it very or somewhat closely, while only 53% of independents and 51% of Democrats can say the same.  While independents oppose raising the debt ceiling by 46/15 (Republicans oppose it 70/8), Democrats only barely support it 33/26, with more claiming not to know enough to say (40%).

Furthermore, the more closely people follow the debate, the farther they move from Obama’s position.  Among those who are less engaged, the ratio of opposition is 2-1, Gallup reports.  Among the 23% who claim to follow it very closely, it’s more like 5-2, 62/25.

With these numbers, the GOP has little motivation to budge from outright opposition.  The White House will have to offer some powerful incentives to get their debt-ceiling hike this summer, and $36 billion won’t cut it this time around.


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Most of this debt is due within 10 years. It’s expected to that we can’t pay it off, so we need to issue new bonds to pay the principal due on the old bonds. Basically, just a refinance. These new bonds will be at the higher intrest rate which cause the federal government to go deeper in debt.

Just say no to the increase.

Oil Can on May 13, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Concur… JUST SAY NO!!

Khun Joe on May 13, 2011 at 1:00 PM

the scare tactics that the Obama administration first deployed could become effective if that’s the only message that reaches them.

part of me feels like if they can’t tune into what is happening to our country, then apox upon their houses…

The GOP will have to press their case hard in the media that we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem, and we need spending reductions rather than enabling more borrowing — or at least in tandem.

but then we have the lsm who will twist the gop words to the dems advantage…

so what do we do?

cmsinaz on May 13, 2011 at 1:05 PM

That’s because Americans don’t see it as the end of the world the way that politicians do.

SKYFOX on May 13, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Please remember this next time someone touts obama’s invincibility (backed up by a poll of course)…if obama stand for anything it is reckless spending.

winston on May 13, 2011 at 1:06 PM

I remember George H.W. Bush’s promise not to raise taxes and then subsequent budget negotiations with the D controlled congress. I remember that he got a deal with congress to cut spending as long as they could get him to approve a tax increase. They got their tax increase but then reneged on their part to cut spending.
So, how about we turn that back on them now. The Rs agree to some future tax increase in exchange for spending cuts now. Then when the time comes to increase taxes, the Rs could say ‘Oh, sorry. This is not a good time to increase taxes. The economy has not recovered enough.’.

sirnapsalot on May 13, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Sounds like a good time to force Geithner et all to pay interest on the bonds first and have anything left over to pay other bills.

Doing that will make it a lot harder for the Dems to whine about how we need to spent $50 million on a study for why hockey fans smile and the other kind of crap they fund.

teke184 on May 13, 2011 at 1:06 PM

” Americans oppose raising debt ceiling by more than 2-1 in Gallup survey…”

But the Political Elite Ruling Class want to keep their Summer homes in the Hampton’s…

… so it will be raised just one more time.

Just once…

… They promise.

Trust them…

… It’s a crisis after all.

It’s too complicated to explain…

… They understand there was an election, but this is just how it is done.

Look, over there in the corner, there is something shiny…

… Anyone else see American Idol last night?

/

Seven Percent Solution on May 13, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Among those paying attention.

portlandon on May 13, 2011 at 1:08 PM

With these numbers, the GOP has little motivation to budge from outright opposition. The White House will have to offer some powerful incentives to get their debt-ceiling hike this summer, and $36 billion won’t cut it this time around.

So this is the time for the GOP to DEMAND hundreds of billions in cuts for FY 2012, otherwise they don’t raise the debt ceiling, then only raise it by one year’s worth of (remaining) deficits, so that we have this debate again next year, BEFORE the election.

Steve Z on May 13, 2011 at 1:09 PM

sirnapsalot on May 13, 2011 at 1:06 PM

sounds like a good idea, but with the gop elite we have now, ain’t gonna happen

cmsinaz on May 13, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Steve Z on May 13, 2011 at 1:09 PM

make that trillions….

cmsinaz on May 13, 2011 at 1:11 PM

It does not matter what Americans oppose, the decision to raise the debt ceiling has already been made…

equanimous on May 13, 2011 at 1:12 PM

34% don’t know enough to say.

Is that from pure ignorance, or from a willingness to trust ‘experts’ to tell them? Either way, it is a frightening number.

Vashta.Nerada on May 13, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Yeah, meanwhile, some left-wing professors at Catholic-affiliated universities are ragging on Boehner for speaking at Catholic University when he’s proposing spending cuts that they don’t support.

BOR had two of them on last night, and I really wasn’t away that Catholic teaching required governments essentially to be charitable vehicles. Sorry, but in this regard, the time of these professors is better spent turning up the heat on private donors to furnish short term assistance rather than perpetuating the nanny state.

BuckeyeSam on May 13, 2011 at 1:13 PM

sounds like a good idea, but with the gop elite we have now, ain’t gonna happen

cmsinaz on May 13, 2011 at 1:10 PM

One can dream…

sirnapsalot on May 13, 2011 at 1:13 PM

sirnapsalot on May 13, 2011 at 1:13 PM

indeed :)

cmsinaz on May 13, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Dear DC Elite: the small you are getting wafting through the air is that of tar being made ready… you will also note the run on featherbeds…. and pre-cut rails are at a premium for some reason.

It’s just a kindly reminder that you are there to do the people’s business, not your own business of fleecing the people. Think of the American people becoming a pack, not a herd and you will get the message, I think.

ajacksonian on May 13, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Yeah, meanwhile, some left-wing professors at Catholic-affiliated universities are ragging on Boehner for speaking at Catholic University when he’s proposing spending cuts that they don’t support.

BOR had two of them on last night, and I really wasn’t away that Catholic teaching required governments essentially to be charitable vehicles. Sorry, but in this regard, the time of these professors is better spent turning up the heat on private donors to furnish short term assistance rather than perpetuating the nanny state.

BuckeyeSam on May 13, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Were they at Jesuit-run Catholic universities or non-Jesuit Catholic universities?

I’ll make a wild guess that they’re on staff at a Jesuit-run one.

teke184 on May 13, 2011 at 1:15 PM

It has become “Radical” according to Barack Obama and Harry Reid to advocate for sound financial management. Any private enterprise would have stopped the spending and cut the fat trillions of dollars ago.

The Democrats have a long standing track record of big spending and resisting every effort to cut the debt. One might almost think that their intent was to bankrupt the United States. Why professors Cloward and Piven have even visited the Clinton White House.

It is said the Obama attended Columbia University (although no evidence has surfaced to that effect)where Cloward and Piven teach people how to overwhelm the US economy and collapse it so they can recreate it in their own image.

Nah, that’s too radical. We all know that the Democrats are patriotic and would never intentionally destroy this nation. Right?

The Rock on May 13, 2011 at 1:15 PM

That’s because Americans don’t see it as the end of the world the way that politicians do.

SKYFOX on May 13, 2011 at 1:05 PM

That is spot on. The taxpayer sees it as a relief from future punitive taxation on themselves and their children.

For the politician, it is death knell for their future career based on buying contributions and votes with other peoples’ money.

Vashta.Nerada on May 13, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Thanks to Geithner and Bernake the dollar is almost worthless. We don’t need the ceiling raised, the entire behemoth needs to be shut down! THEN we’ll find out what is essential and what is window dressing.

GarandFan on May 13, 2011 at 1:16 PM

OT: lsm giddy over ensign scandal but have no problems with waters and rangel ethics…

infuriating

cmsinaz on May 13, 2011 at 1:18 PM

BOR had two of them on last night, and I really wasn’t away that Catholic teaching required governments essentially to be charitable vehicles. Sorry, but in this regard, the time of these professors is better spent turning up the heat on private donors to furnish short term assistance rather than perpetuating the nanny state.

BuckeyeSam on May 13, 2011 at 1:13 PM

I saw that segment. Even though O’Reilly did challenge them, he went far too easy on those tools. I’m sick of these out-of-touch morons who claim it’s the moral obligation of the haves to care for the have-nots in this nation despite the fact that our welfare and entitlement programs are about to drive us into insolvency. Newsflash, idiots. If we go bankrupt, then about 90% of the damn nation will become have-nots. Then who’ll take care of them?

Doughboy on May 13, 2011 at 1:19 PM

It’s like anything else. If you’re maxed out on your credit card, you can’t charge anything more. You don’t get to come to some agreement with the credit card company about how you’re supposed to live and do all the things you used to do when you charged it all on the credit card. No. You crash and burn, and it hurts. You sell your house. You move into a small crappy apartment. You eat rice and beans. That’s life. At some point we have to say, enough. Stop.

Paul-Cincy on May 13, 2011 at 1:20 PM

We all opposed TARP as well, and the bailouts, and the Stimulus, etc. The American People will again be ignored. They are the same party.

j_galt on May 13, 2011 at 1:22 PM

That’s because Americans don’t see it as the end of the world the way that politicians do.

SKYFOX on May 13, 2011 at 1:05 PM

That is spot on. The taxpayer sees it as a relief from future punitive taxation on themselves and their children.

For the politician, it is death knell for their future career based on buying contributions and votes with other peoples’ money.

Vashta.Nerada on May 13, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Relief from taxation? Ireland, recently bankrupt, is imposing a tax on private retirement savings.

ProfessorMiao on May 13, 2011 at 1:22 PM

If only we could get the messaging right on reforming Medicare.

petunia on May 13, 2011 at 1:23 PM

ProfessorMiao on May 13, 2011 at 1:22 PM

cripe…better not touch my 403b…

cmsinaz on May 13, 2011 at 1:24 PM

If the Republicans stick to not raising the ceiling, I’ll ship a gold brick.

And I don’t mean ship.

catmman on May 13, 2011 at 1:24 PM

ProfessorMiao on May 13, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Are Ireland’s gun laws as restrictive as England’s? The politicians had better hope so.

Vashta.Nerada on May 13, 2011 at 1:25 PM

BuckeyeSam on May 13, 2011 at 1:13 PM

If I thought that was truly called for in Catholic teaching, I’d become a Baptist (as if they’d have me).

SKYFOX on May 13, 2011 at 1:26 PM

BOR had two of them on last night, and I really wasn’t away [aware?]that Catholic teaching required governments essentially to be charitable vehicles.

[BuckeyeSam on May 13, 2011 at 1:13 PM]

I’m presuming you are being rhetorical here, because it isn’t Catholic teaching. The church is as infested with socialists masquerading as religious adherents to Catholic teaching as most other institutions are.

Dusty on May 13, 2011 at 1:26 PM

When has the Senate or Congress listened to the people whom put them in the position they are in, in the last 50 yrs?

Need I say more?

upinak on May 13, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Makes no difference. Cave coming.

rrpjr on May 13, 2011 at 1:27 PM

rrpjr on May 13, 2011 at 1:27 PM

*sigh*

cmsinaz on May 13, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Let’s start referring to Establishment Republicans as “Cavemen”, since all they know how to do is cave in to the Democrats, cave in to fears of the MSM being even more mean to them than usual if they actually stand on principle, as well as caving in to other like minded cavemen within their own party, who are convinced that being a caveman is the only way to go because “that’s how Washington works”.

Andrew Breitbart is the anti-Caveman.

ardenenoch on May 13, 2011 at 1:32 PM

I’m sick of these out-of-touch morons who claim it’s the moral obligation of the haves to care for the have-nots in this nation despite the fact that our welfare and entitlement programs are about to drive us into insolvency.

[Doughboy on May 13, 2011 at 1:19 PM]

I have no problem with those espouse the need for the haves to care for the have-nots, especially the religious. Actually I think it is a clear societal good for them to do it.

Where I draw the line is when they advocate using the state to compel individuals to do so. It’s not freedom. It’s tyranny.

Dusty on May 13, 2011 at 1:36 PM

“… by 47 to 19 percent of Americans opposed to an increase in the debt ceiling”

The only remaining question is are they motivated by a new found respect for simple economic principles, or are they still in denial that they will have to pay for what they get from the government ?

J_Crater on May 13, 2011 at 1:36 PM

the scare tactics that the Obama administration first deployed could become effective if that’s the only message that reaches them

I’m not saying that I support raising the debt ceilings without real spending cuts across to board, including medicare and military, but isn’t there a real problem in not raising the debt ceiling? No one on Wall Street is saying that the possibility of defaulting is just a ‘scare tactic’.

bayam on May 13, 2011 at 1:37 PM

A majority of Americans want spending cut? Then clearly, the politicians will do just the opposite…as per usual.

search4truth on May 13, 2011 at 1:38 PM

The church is as infested with socialists masquerading as religious adherents to Catholic teaching as most other institutions are.

Dusty on May 13, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Exactly. A lot of people went into churches as concientious objectors to get out of going to Vietnam, and brought their world views with them.

Vashta.Nerada on May 13, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I’ve been looking at Daniels today.

I wish he was more… I wish he was more.

But I guess he will do.

petunia on May 13, 2011 at 1:45 PM

With these numbers, the GOP has little motivation to budge from outright opposition. The White House will have to offer some powerful incentives to get their debt-ceiling hike this summer, and $36 billion won’t cut it this time around.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Yeah…Boner’s gonna reeeeaaaallllly get ‘em this time. No, really. I swear.

(cough) WUSS (cough)

Our leadership blows.

Tim_CA on May 13, 2011 at 1:52 PM

With these numbers, the GOP has little motivation to budge from outright opposition. The White House will have to offer some powerful incentives to get their debt-ceiling hike this summer,

Obama: “I can see it now, John….just imagine…the “John Boehner Policy and Domestic Whoring Group”….big letters, all the way across the top of the building….with abig, fat federal grant to get it started…..whaddya say, John? A little quid pro quo?”

BobMbx on May 13, 2011 at 2:03 PM

So Ed … Where in the world did you get a picture of Barak Obama giving a TSA pat down to John Boehner?

percysunshine on May 13, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Continuing to raise the debt limit means there is NO DEBT LIMIT! You must stop spending!

rjoco1 on May 13, 2011 at 2:23 PM

The topline results give Republicans a lot of ammunition in the battle over the debt ceiling

Unfortunately the Republicans don’t have any guns (or don’t know how to use them). If I had a penny for every time I have been disappointed with what the Republicans have done with their wealth of ammunition or political capital I would have a pretty nice tan by now.

neuquenguy on May 13, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I can’t remember which show he said it, but I was sure this past weekend, Juan Williams was spouting off (lying) that polls show a majority of Americans want the debt ceiling increased. I screamed…Oh Juan you’re such a liar…again. I was right it seems.

capejasmine on May 13, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Where I draw the line is when they advocate using the state to compel individuals to do so. It’s not freedom. It’s tyranny.

Dusty on May 13, 2011 at 1:36 PM

This. I love the Church, but charity is between me and God, not me and gubmint.

CantCureStupid on May 13, 2011 at 2:56 PM

I say we lower the debt ceiling. If they give us some concessions, then, maybe, we can leave it where it is.

jeffn21 on May 13, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Of the 47% that don’t want the ceiling raised, how many of them actually realize that it will trigger GIGANTIC spending cuts?

Including the fine folks here, I’m guessing less than 10%…

jondun5 on May 13, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Of course 2/3rds opposed ObamaCare when it was passed . . .

Polls are for Democrats/Statists, raising the debt ceiling/adding 2 trillion in debt is just plain immoral. nuff said.

Angry Dumbo on May 13, 2011 at 3:24 PM

The number who want it rasied are about the number who wanted McCain’s amnesty passed.

McCain was stopped, multiple times by such numbers.

Numbers don’t seem to be working as well on politicians this time. This is touching their gonads

entagor on May 13, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Of the 47% that don’t want the ceiling raised, how many of them actually realize that it will trigger GIGANTIC spending cuts?

Including the fine folks here, I’m guessing less than 10%…

jondun5 on May 13, 2011 at 3:00 PM

As much as you may think that people are opposed to spending cuts, you are wrong. The American people want, the American people need very large spending cuts. Cut the Federal budget in half and we will have a good starting point.

We are informed. We know what it means. If the Federal Government can’t live on $200 Billion a month (which is how much it pulls in right now), then it is doing many, many things wrong (which it is).

We are much more informed than you assume. Please leave your soft condescension at home (it is condescending to believe that so few people would be properly informed on this issue on a site such as this which exists specifically to inform people about such issues).

Theophile on May 13, 2011 at 4:04 PM

I can’t remember which show he said it, but I was sure this past weekend, Juan Williams was spouting off (lying) that polls show a majority of Americans want the debt ceiling increased. I screamed…Oh Juan you’re such a liar…again. I was right it seems.

capejasmine on May 13, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Williams has gone nutty the last couple of weeks, don’t know what’s wrong with him. Started when he said US soldiers were pulling out fingernails and gouging out eyeballs.

slickwillie2001 on May 13, 2011 at 4:07 PM

34% don’t know enough to say.

I’ll bet 99% of those people know who won America’s Next Top Model.

angryed on May 13, 2011 at 4:10 PM

What does this mean? The GOP will last 2 weeks longer than otherwise before caving in.

gwelf on May 13, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Two thirds of Republicans (66%) are following it very or somewhat closely, while only 53% of independents and 51% of Democrats can say the same.

How else would they become Democrats?

burt on May 13, 2011 at 7:05 PM