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Americans Are About Evenly Divided on the Debt Ceiling Battle.

Written by Gary North on October 8, 2013

It’s not just Congress that is divided over the debt ceiling. So are most Americans.

The Pew Research Center’s latest poll indicates that 44% of Americans say that the House should give ground on their demand that ObamaCare be postponed for a year, while 42% think Obama should.

This is within the bounds of polling error.

So, this leads to a political conclusion. Each side is likely to appeal to its voter base. What does this tell us? Among Democrats, 58% do not want Obama to back down. Among Republicans, 54% think that the House should not back down. So, if both sides do what their supporters recommend, there will be no resolution.

Next, what about hard-core swing voters within the camp of the party faithful? Tea Party Republicans are hard core. A very high 88% say the House should not back down. Among non-Tea Party Republicans, 63% think Obama should make compromises, but only 39% say it would be unacceptable for the House to drop such a demand.

There is broad support for a compromise. But there is no agreement on the nature of the compromise.

About 38% blame the Republicans more than Obama. About 30% blame Obama more than Republicans. About 20% say blame is equally divided.

What about outright disapproval? About 69% disapprove of the House Republicans, 58% disapprove of Senate Democrats, and half disapprove of Obama. In short, most people disapprove.

Less than half of those polled say that it is essential that the debt ceiling be raised: 47%. About 39% say they are skeptical about this need.

So, the deadlock reflects the opinion of the public. Until it is clear who will be the political losers in November 2014, the standoff is likely to continue.

There will be additional polls on this matter.

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39 thoughts on “Americans Are About Evenly Divided on the Debt Ceiling Battle.

  1. Texas Chris says:

    Personally, as a TEA Party Republican, I say leave it shut down, shut down more of it, bring our troops home and stop meddling internationally, cut off welfare, sell off the national parks and leave the interstate highways to states, close all federal police agencies, CIA, FBI, and NSA, as well as EPA, FDA, FAA, and Dept. of Education.

    Turn off the lights. Go home.

    We don't need a giant federal government. It needs us. And it needs us as slaves.

  2. Boy Texas Chris said it all. I still think the dems overplayed this shutdown. No vets on the mall but the illegal's and union goons are welcome to trash the mall. Keep it up dems.

  3. HolyShirt says:

    Are we to believe confirmation that nearly half of Americans (like nearly half of Congress) are Stupid Idiots is good news?

    Over 200 years ago, the Democratic-Republican Party gained political power resisting Federalist attempts to create a powerful central (Federal) government, Now called the Democratic Party, it wasn't long before lust for power corrupted its officeholders.

    The Republican Party gained true political power 150 ago, when Americans elected Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president.

    What a testament to American Dumbth that a Democratic Party that fought a Civil War to keep Negroes as slaves forever has corrupted enough Black politicians to convince Slavery's descendants that Democrats are their friends and Republicans (who fought a war to free them) are their enemies.

    Isn't a 150-year stranglehold on political power enough time for Democrats and Republicans to fix America?
    Isn't it about time the American voter kicked BOTH of them out?

  4. Obviously, commenters here would NOT answer polls the way they want.

  5. Chris Baum says:

    If you're a liberal, this is an overwhelming majority that thinks congress should blink. If you're a realist, it is a toss up. Too bad the media will always side with the liberal point of view.

  6. The liberals are hungrier for power than the conservatives because the liberals want to run things while the conservatives just want government out of their lives. The liberal greed for power trumps all in their world. See my blog at http://cranky-conservative.blogspot.com

  7. Martin Luther King Jr.said,"The most dangerous thing in the world is sincere ignorance & conscientious stupidity."
    You sir are a perfect illustration of both.

  8. If the debt ceiling is raised, then basically it will be paying for debts incurred last year. So why continue to raise the debt limit year after year instead of fiscal responsibility to live within the allotted appropriation? The only reason for raising the debt limit is an open door policy to continue the spend, spend spend illness affecting DC.
    I say approve the debt ceiling one last time, but in that raise, put in the provisio that all agencies will be cut X% in allotment approval for the next year and they must live within the approved appropriations, for all offices of government, and yes that means the White House.

  9. RadmanBob says:

    I know that there are a lot of Americans who are simply ignorant regarding some of the Creator-endowed rights and protections enumerated in the Constitution. Obama has unilaterally (and illegally) changed passed law; and every single Senate Democrat voted to exempt themselves from the Obamacare "train wreck." What hypocrites! What they claim is great for thee is NOT for me! And then there are the thousands of waivers, exemptions and subsidies that have been granted to the president's and Democrat political supporters. Overwhelmed websites, "glitches," costs far greater than promised, and medical decisions that will be superceeded by federal bureaucrats. If Obamacare were a car, the insurance agent would declare it damaged far beyond it's worth; and it would be "totaled" — deemed suitable only for crushing as scrap.

    With a $17 trillion debt and consecutive $trillion deficits since BHO first took office is a prima facie case for REDUCING the absolute size of Government, and not just cutting the size of proposed increases. Virtually any business can identity 5-10% savings in their operations by just cutting waste, so why can't the federal goverment? I'd start by cutting every federal salary (from the president on down) greater than about $40K by 10%; and, and likewise, I'd cut every federal program and agency budget by 10%, and use the savings to start paying down the debt. ("A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," so everyone needs to sacrifice!)

  10. TEXASFREEMAN says:

    Okay, what part of shutting down a big bloated guvmint, that Texas Chris has set fourth qualifies as "stupid?"

  11. Agreed, Revere. The utter stupidity is palpable.

  12. My primary concern with the current policies of tax, spend, borrow, print money,get people dependent on big govt., etc will eventually cause the collapse of our currency. It has happened before in history, and we should not think we are immune. Examples of what happened are: the German Weimar Republic- inflation became so great that the exchange rate was $4 trillion to ONE American dollar; Peron's Argentina – the Argentine peso became worthless, precipitating a depression bigger than our great depression; Napoleon's France- Napoleon exhausted all his hard currency and had to print assignats, money backed with land in what later became our Louisiana purchase; Robert Mugabe's Rwanda- still in turmoil. The American people better pull their heads out of the posterior end of their alimentary canals. I shudder to think wht will come with the collapse of the dollar.We expect people to pay their bills when they owe us money. People to whom we OWE money expect repayment. Reality strikes !

  13. LOL. You've been watching too much Fox News.

  14. The reason the country is nearly equally divided on obamacare and the debt is that half the people in the country don't pay taxes or any of their own bills.

    That half wants those that work to keep paying the increasing amount of bills while they suckle at the public trough. And, I include the "government elite" in those that are gorging themselves at the public trough. Middle Class must fund both the elite and the "gimmes." Cut off the "elite pigs at the trough." That would be a good start. Take away their lavish benefits and make them pay their own bills. They need to support themselves and SERVE the country as Patriots. They need to be full-time, self-supporting, productive Patriots and PARTIME servants of the American People! We would no longer have to worry about term limits.

  15. The "budget debate" is both informative and depressing. Has there been any Administration in recent memory that did not want the debt ceiling raised? America is inexorably sliding into Greece, and the Party in power routinely wants government's profligate spending curbed on the next Administration's or, better yet, next generation's watch.

    Let's face it, politicians and bureaucrats are addicted to spending. They can't control it. They are hooked. The "cure" is in the hands of the "people" and only one thing will work – a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures.

    There isn't much time left to stop the ultimate “default” – and history tells me not to get too optimistic.

  16. TEXASFREEMAN says:

    Sometimes it is necessary to take a step back in order to advance several steps in the near future. Democrats are hell bent on using every means to ram this bad law down our throats, against the will of over 70% of the people. Owing the fact that the democrats will not budge, thee Republican leadership should propose to pass a clean CR, provided the president rescind and revoke ALL the exemptions and waivers he has ILLEGALLY granted. He will probably never agree to such a thing, but it will show what he truly is, a petty dictator with a godfather complex. If he does accept, Republicans should all either refuse to vote or vote present, that way it will all be on the democrats.

    As for the debt ceiling, I would ask for a rather large across the board spending cut period, which would render any increase in the debt ceiling moot.

  17. LOL. You haven't been watching enough Fox News.

  18. Dwight Eisenhower was the last President to balance the budget with 2 years of surplus in a row. It's been a while. There is no comprehension of how to balance it today, nor an understanding among the citizens of why it should be balanced.

  19. RadmanBob says:

    Typical lib response, Shane. You can't argue facts that don't fit your belief system, so you just make a snide remark about conservative sources. Troll on back over to HuffPo.

  20. You said it My Brother!

  21. RadmanBob says:

    "Absolutely never agree" would be more accurate. The pathological narcissist in the White House can't agree to removing all of the illegal changes that HE has unilaterally made to a law that HE signed…because then HE would be admitting that the ACA is fatally flawed…that HIS signature legislation (and HIS legacy) are both catastrophic "train wrecks." How ironic is that?

  22. Jon Enigma says:

    Debt limit… what debt limit? When was it ever NOT raised, thus I say we really do not have a limit. Our government just keeps spending more and more then is obligated to raise the 'so called limit'… Is it not so? And we'll all be broke and dead, like our Republic, before they get around to dealing with 'spending' as the pressing problem.

  23. Gary Riddle says:

    I have a statistic: 50% of voters could not explain the difference between the budget deficit and the national debt. These same people believed the President when he said, "raising the debt ceiling will not increase our debt." Huh? These same people probably do not care as long as their "entitlements" continue.

  24. From what I am told, there is NO fiscal responsibility, or "allotted appropriations" or in other words, a budget, hasn't been one for years! and also from what I have been told, it is the democrats that have failed us, as they have had the power to do so, more so than the republicans have.

  25. Projection, eh? Go move to Europe if you like big government so much. If you like REAL big then move to North Korea and you can starve with millions of others. Dang, I'd like to think there is ONE place people who love freedom can live in.


  26. Amen to that Texas Chris. god to see there are some other adults in the room.

  27. Well, some conservatives don't seem to mind big government as long as it is a Republican doing it. Look at what happened during the bush years.

  28. So for every Shane, there is almost one anti-Shane.

    Good news.

  29. Perfect example of push poll results: "If you had to choose between Stalin or the current administration, who would you vote for?"

  30. The Marxist in Chief is simply gutting America to the bone. He cars not a rat's ass for our country. America better wake up quickly or the hammer and bloody boot prints of his Marxist State will ultimately will be lining the streets. No America, we are not exempt from reality.

  31. I agree with you. The government doesn't know it but they do need us more than we need them. We have a chief Muslim in charge and you know that will not end well. Everyone says how smart he is but I doubt that ha could give a decent answer about a speech he has given in the relative past because he doesn't write them he just reads them and once he has given the speech he will not remember it.
    The debates showed the thinking Americans that he was going to win the second one even to the point of having the narrator tell a lye to back up his position even though they were wrong. The people ate that hook line and sinker and reelected him. I was saying how ignorant he is but look at all those who voted for him.
    We do not need the department of education in Washington DC even if they need to be educated very badly. Obama says if the republicans will go on and give him everything he wants then he may deal with them. Who would be the idiot in that case??

  32. yes

  33. I could not have said it better. I think the rest of the world is thinking what idiots we are to have had the limited rights we have and to give them away. Even China and Russia has told us we are acting like communist. I wonder how that behavior came about.

  34. The truth is that if you have a child you teach them to only buy what they can pay for. Our government officials parents did not teach them well.

  35. Victor Barney says:

    Why don't we ever do such polls via sexes, that way we clearly can see the nurturing "gatherer's" agenda in America? I quess that would show just how hopeless things really are, right? I'm just saying…

  36. And shut down the IRS.

  37. No surprise that Americans are evenly divided on debt increases. Half of them either work for the government or live on largess and don’t want their “employer/benefactor” to run out of money and be forced to acknowledge that they are “non-essential.”

  38. Firs of all people need to understnd what the debt ceiling is about. The debt ceiling is monies need to pay for the debt incurred during FY2013, It has nothing to do with FY2014 spending. What obama and reid want is another one trillion dollars for the FY2014 future spending and a higher raise in taxses. So in essence they want more money to spend more money.

  39. Like Gary said in a recent article, it's not about shutting the government down. It's about a balanced budget. Living within your means. The gov would have to fund its operations out of revenue. What a concept!! Everyone (well, almost) agrees that a balanced budget would be good. Just not now. Never now. Now is never a good time to balance the budget.

    Here in liberal Portland, Ore. the papers (if you care to read them) are full of articles detailing the heart-rending problems caused by those nasty Republicans who've shut the government down. They haven't shut the gov down. They just don't want to increase the debt ceiling. They don't want to borrow any more money to fund the gov operations. "Shutting the gov down" is just a blackmail attempt by the other side of the aisle to get their way.

    The problem is we've been living beyond our means. We have a government which requires much more money than it takes in. Raising taxes to cover the difference is politically impossible, so they resort to subterfuge. The problem is, what needs to be cut to balance the budget? The political class is making sure that the most visible, most wanted things are the things cut. Not the layers and layers of bureaucratic fat which no one would miss or even notice. That all stays. Notice, BTW, there was plenty of manpower to enforce the shutdowns. There's always funding for grandstanding. That's basic to politics.