Dec. 19, 2013

In Deficit Debate, Public Resists Cuts in Entitlements and Aid to Poor

Survey Report As President Obama prepares to sign a bipartisan budget agreement that its proponents describe as a modest step toward addressing the deficit, the public shows little appetite for making some of the spending cuts often discussed as part of a broader “grand bargain” on the budget. The latest national survey by the Pew […]

Oct. 22, 2013

Public Closely Tracks Agreement on Shutdown and Debt Limit

Survey Report The public closely tracked the resolution to the government shutdown and increase in the debt limit, with nearly half (49%) saying they followed news very closely and 30% saying they followed news somewhat closely. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Oct. 17-20 among 1,001 adults, finds that interest in […]

Oct. 15, 2013

As Debt Limit Deadline Nears, Concern Ticks Up But Skepticism Persists

Survey Report With just two days to go before an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the nation’s debt limit, 51% of the public views a rise in the nation’s debt limit as “absolutely essential” in order to avoid an economic crisis, while 36% think the country can go past the deadline without major problems. Public […]

Oct. 7, 2013

Partisans Dug in on Budget, Health Care Impasse

Survey Report Nearly a week into the first government shutdown in more than 17 years, most Americans express frustration and concern about the situation. Yet on the core issue dividing Republicans and Democrats in Washington – whether cuts or delays to the 2010 health care law should be part of any budget deal – there […]

Sep. 30, 2013

Anger at Government Most Pronounced among Conservative Republicans

Survey Report With a possible government shutdown just hours away, public anger at the federal government is as high as at any point since the Pew Research Center began asking the question in 1997. Anger is most palpable among conservative Republicans – 41% say they are angry at the federal government, the highest among any […]

Sep. 18, 2013

Republicans Sour on Ben Bernanke

Survey Report As Ben Bernanke prepares to step down as chairman of the Federal Reserve in January, the public views him somewhat more favorably (38%) than unfavorably (31%), with 32% unable to offer a rating. Bernanke is better known now than he was in March 2008, when 55% could not rate him; at that time, […]

Sep. 12, 2013

Five Years after Market Crash, U.S. Economy Seen as ‘No More Secure’

Five years after the U.S. economy faced its most serious crisis since the Great Depression, a majority of Americans (63%) say the nation’s economic system is no more secure today than it was before the 2008 market crash. Just a third (33%) think the system is more secure now than it was then. Large […]

Jun. 19, 2013

Obama Job Approval Holds Steady, Economic Views Improve

In a second term marked by a series of controversies and little legislative success, President Obama’s job approval rating has nonetheless remained fairly steady. Currently, 49% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president while 43% disapprove. That is little changed from a month ago, before the NSA surveillance controversy and […]

May. 29, 2013

Most Say Disaster Spending Does Not Require Offsetting Cuts

As Oklahoma recovers from severe damage caused by last week’s tornado, a majority of Americans (59%) say federal spending in response to natural disasters is emergency aid that does not need to be offset by cuts to other programs, while 29% say such spending must be offset by cuts to other programs. While there […]

May. 20, 2013

Partisan Interest, Reactions to IRS and AP Controversies

So far, public interest in a trio of controversies connected to the Obama administration has been limited. Roughly a quarter (26%) of Americans say they are very closely following reports that the IRS targeted conservative groups. About the same number (25%) are tracking the Benghazi investigation very closely, and even fewer (16%) are very […]

Apr. 29, 2013

Political Blame for Flight Delays Spread Evenly

As Washington sprang into action late last week to end the furlough of federal air-traffic controllers and delays at airports across the country, the public blamed both sides for the situation. Nearly equal percentages say congressional Republicans (34%) and the Obama administration (32%) are more to blame for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) budget […]

Apr. 11, 2013

A Third of Americans Say They Like Doing Their Income Taxes

Report As April 15 approaches, a majority of Americans (56%) have a negative reaction to doing their income taxes, with 26% saying they hate doing them. However, about a third (34%) say they either like (29%) or love (5%) doing their taxes. The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted April 4-7 among 1,003 […]

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Apr. 11, 2013

How Do Americans Feel About Doing Their Taxes?

Ben Franklin once said that nothing in life is certain, but death and taxes. More than two centuries later, taxes remain a yearly ritual for most Americans. Most say they dislike – or even hate – doing their taxes, but about a third say they like it – or even love it. Click through the […]

Mar. 21, 2013

Obama Job Approval Slips as Economic Pessimism Rises

Barack Obama’s job approval rating has tumbled since shortly after his re-election, as the public’s economic expectations for the coming year have soured. Despite substantial public awareness of recent gains in the stock market and rebounding real-estate values, the percentage saying economic conditions will get worse over the next year has risen to its […]

Feb. 25, 2013

Most Say Spending Cuts Would Have Major Impact on Economy, Military

While many Americans may be resigned to seeing automatic spending cuts in the budget sequester go into effect, the public is concerned about the potential impact of the reductions. A new national survey by the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post, conducted Feb. 21-24 among 1,000 adults, finds that most say the budget […]

Feb. 22, 2013

As Sequester Deadline Looms, Little Support for Cutting Most Programs

As the March 1 deadline for a possible budget sequester approaches, a new national survey finds limited public support for reducing spending for a range of specific programs, including defense, entitlements, education and health care. For 18 of 19 programs tested, majorities want either to increase spending or maintain it at current levels. The […]

Feb. 21, 2013

If No Deal is Struck, Four-in-Ten Say Let the Sequester Happen

After a series of fiscal crises over the past few years, the public is not expressing a particular sense of urgency over the pending March 1 sequester deadline. With little more than a week to go, barely a quarter have heard a lot about the scheduled cuts, while about as many have heard nothing […]

Feb. 14, 2013

Most Approve of Ending Saturday Mail Delivery

A majority of Americans (54%) approve of the U.S. Postal Service’s recent decision to halt Saturday delivery of letters, while 32% disapprove of the decision. The planned end of Saturday mail delivery is a rare government decision that garners bipartisan support – 58% of independents approve of the action, as do 57% of Republicans […]

Jan. 24, 2013

Deficit Reduction Rises on Public’s Agenda for Obama’s Second Term

When Barack Obama took office four years ago, reducing the budget deficit was a middle-tier item on the public’s agenda. Only about half of Americans (53%) viewed it as a top policy priority in January 2009, placing it ninth on a list of 20 policy goals. But as Obama begins his second term, only […]

Jan. 7, 2013

Obama Viewed as Fiscal Cliff Victor; Legislation Gets Lukewarm Reception

Barack Obama is viewed as the clear political winner in the fiscal cliff negotiations, but the legislation itself gets only a lukewarm reception from the public: As many disapprove as approve of the new tax legislation, and more say it will have a negative than positive impact on the federal budget deficit, the national […]