Aug. 1, 2011

Public Sees Budget Negotiations as “Ridiculous”, “Disgusting”, “Stupid”

From liberal Democrats to Tea Party Republicans, there is broad public consensus that the budget negotiations of recent weeks can be summed up in words such as ridiculous, disgusting, stupid, and frustrating. Nationwide, 72% describe the recent negotiations in negative terms such as these; while very few offer a positive (2%), or even neutral (11%), […]

Jul. 18, 2011

Obama Draws More Confidence than Boehner, McConnell or Cantor on Debt Ceiling

The public expresses far more confidence in President Obama than it does in congressional leaders of both parties when it comes to the debate over the debt ceiling. Nonetheless, only about half of Americans (48%) have even a fair amount of confidence in Obama to do the right thing when it comes to dealing with […]

Jul. 18, 2011

Public Split Evenly on Urgency of Debt Limit Debate

While administration officials project an economic catastrophe if the debt limit is not raised by Aug. 2, many Americans do not see this deadline as a major problem. Four-in-ten (40%) say that, from what they’ve read and heard, it is absolutely essential that the federal debt limit be raised by Aug. 2 to avoid […]

Jul. 14, 2011

The Debt Ceiling Showdown – Where the Public Stands

The nation is headed toward a possible government default on Aug. 2 if no agreement is reached to raise the debt ceiling. The public is still coming to grips with this complex issue, but recent Pew Research Center surveys show that opinions are beginning to take shape: The Bottom Line. The public has grown more […]

Jun. 20, 2011

More Say GOP Would Be Mainly Responsible If No Increase In Debt Limit

More Americans believe Republicans in Congress, rather than the Obama administration, would be mainly responsible if the two sides cannot agree on a plan to increase the federal debt limit. About four-in-ten (42%) say Republicans would bear the most responsibility if the debt limit is not raised and the government is unable to borrow more […]

Apr. 12, 2011

The Deficit Debate – Where the Public Stands

With the initial skirmishing over this year’s budget now settled, President Obama and Congress are preparing for the main event – figuring out how to make substantial inroads on the country’s $1.5 trillion deficit.  In a number of surveys over the past several months, the Pew Research Center has shown where the public stands on the […]

Apr. 11, 2011

Budget Negotiations in a Word – “Ridiculous”

The public has an overwhelmingly negative reaction to the budget negotiations that narrowly avoided a government shutdown. A weekend survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Washington Post finds that “ridiculous” is the word used most frequently to describe the budget negotiations, followed by “disgusting,” “frustrating,” “messy,” […]

Apr. 4, 2011

Public Would Blame Both Sides if Government Shuts Down

With an April 8 deadline approaching for a possible shutdown of the federal government, the public was divided over whether congressional Republicans or the Obama administration would be more to blame if a shutdown occurs.

Feb. 28, 2011

More Side with Wisconsin Unions than Governor

By a modest margin, more say they back Wisconsin’s public employee unions rather than the state’s governor in their continuing dispute over collective bargaining rights. Roughly four-in-ten (42%) say they side more with the public employee unions, while 31% say they side more with the governor, Scott Walker, according to the latest Pew Research […]

Aug. 7, 1998

More Rancorous, But Not “Do Nothing”

Introduction and Summary As Congress heads home for the summer campaign season, both parties face tough sells for their election themes. Despite Democratic charges of a Republican-led do-nothing Congress, Americans see the 105th Congress as no different than others in recent memory. But the GOP will have to shore up its image on issues, as […]

Jan. 23, 1998

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Public satisfaction with the state of the nation has lifted out of the doldrums of the early 1990s, with 46% today saying they are satisfied. While this is up 20% points or more from the period 1993 through mid-1996, half of all Americans (50%) still describe themselves as dissatisfied with the way things are going. […]

Jan. 23, 1998

Spending Favored Over Tax Cuts or Debt Reduction

Introduction and Summary In his sixth State of the Union next week, President Clinton will face an American public that retains a healthy appetite for government activism — fully two-thirds advocate spending any budget surplus this year. But that enthusiasm is tempered by often sharp generational differences on federal spending priorities. In a clear signal […]

Aug. 15, 1997

Other Important Findings and Analyses

But Still, Show Me Despite positive feelings about the legislation, Americans continue to doubt that the budget will actually be balanced by the year 2002. Only 16% think the budget will be balanced, 77% think it will not be — down slightly from 85% in May. Assuming the budget is balanced, the public is divided […]

Jun. 27, 1997

Public Divided on Medicare Reforms

Survey Findings Pew’s latest News Interest Index finds that a little bit of news about Medicare reform travels a long way, while a lot of news about tax relief is mostly greeted with shrugs and disbelief. Fewer than four in ten Americans (38%) paid close attention to the ongoing Washington debate about how to cut […]

May. 23, 1997

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Budget Agreement Clearly, Bill Clinton’s continued high ratings, despite Whitewater and the DNC fund raising scandal, seem more tied to a reduction in economic anxiety than to success with the budget. News interest in the budget debate once again edged down at the very time the President and Republican leaders had come to their historic […]

Feb. 28, 1997

Widespread Pessimism about Balanced Budget

Survey Findings Despite the new spirit of bipartisanship in Washington and the sense of optimism inside the beltway that a budget agreement may finally be at hand, the American public is extremely bearish about the prospects for a balanced budget. Just 28% believe President Clinton and the GOP Congressional leaders will be able to reach […]

Jan. 18, 1996

Clinton Ratings Hold: Balanced Budget A Public Priority, But Few See Personal Payoff

Introduction and Summary Age and income make a difference in the perceived impact of a balanced budget and changes to Medicare. A majority of Americans with family incomes of $75,000 or more think they will be helped personally by a balanced budget, while smaller percentages of middle and lower income people foresee a personal payoff. […]