With the tug-of-war between raising the debt ceiling and cutting more government spending underway in Washington, here are some fast facts from Americans' point of view:
- Americans generally want their member of Congress to vote against raising the debt ceiling. Asked about the issue in May, without any potential trade-offs or caveats, 47% wanted their member to vote against it and 19% for it. At the same time, 34% didn't know enough to say.
- A majority of Americans in May said they were following news about the issue very or somewhat closely. Among the 23% who were following the issue very closely, 62% were opposed to raising the debt ceiling.
- The federal budget is a topic of increasing concern for Americans. The 17% who voluntarily mentioned it as the country's most important problem in April was the highest since 1996.
- Americans clearly prefer spending cuts over tax increases among potential approaches to cut the deficit, including a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.
- They also clearly see wasteful government spending as the culprit behind the deficit problem more than an inability to raise enough money in taxes to pay for needed federal programs.
Additionally, stay up-to-date on future findings as we monitor Americans' opinions on the events and options coming out of the deficit debate in Washington by signing up to receive all of our politics news stories by e-mail alert or RSS feed. Labels: deficit, government, politics