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7/6: Americans Want the Debt to Take Center Stage in Washington

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7/6: Americans Want the Debt to Take Center Stage in Washington

According to this McClatchy-Marist Poll, nearly six in ten American adults — 59% — want the federal government to make the reduction of the debt its priority even if the economy is slow to recover.  About one-third — 33% — want the government to stimulate the weak economy even if it costs more money.  Eight percent are unsure.  Similar proportions of registered voters share these views.

Uncle Sam with cash

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Click Here for Complete July 6, 2011 McClatchy-Marist Poll Release and Tables

“For the public, it’s all about the debt,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “For Washington, the devil is in the details.”

Looking at party, 79% of Republicans want the debt to be paid down while 15% think stimulating the economy should be the priority.  There is less of a consensus among Democrats.  Half — 50% — believe the government should focus on stimulating the economy while 45% say the national debt should top the government’s “to do” list.  More than six in ten independents — 61% — think the priority should be the reduction of the debt even if the economy rebounds slowly.  This compares with 32% who say the stimulation of the economy should be the main issue even if it costs more money.

Table: Government’s Priority — the Debt or Stimulating the Economy
Table: Government’s Priority — the Debt or Stimulating the Economy (Registered Voters)

Pessimism about the Economy Remains … Three in Four Believe U.S. Still in Recession

A majority of Americans — 53% — say that, when thinking about the U.S. economy, the worst is yet to come.  However, 42% believe the worst is behind us.  Six percent are unsure.  When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in April, 57% thought there was more bad economic news to come, 39% said better economic days were ahead, and 4% were unsure.

And, 75% of residents nationally still think the country is in a recession.  This compares with one in five — 20% — who say the nation has come out of the recession.  Five percent are unsure.  In April, similar proportions held these views.  At that time, 71% reported the recession was not over, 25% said it was, and 4% were unsure.

Table: U.S. Economy — Will It Get Worse?
Table: U.S. Economy — Will It Get Worse? (Registered Voters)
Table: U.S. Economy — Will It Get Worse? (Over Time)

Trend graph: Will U.S. economy get worse?

Click on the graph to enlarge the image.

Table: U.S. in a Recession
Table: U.S. in a Recession (Registered Voters)
Table: U.S. in a Recession Over Time (Adults)

Trend Graph: Is United States in a recession?

Click on the graph to enlarge the image.

McClatchy-Marist Poll Methodology

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