Poll Finds Americans Worried About National Debt

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Americans are worried about the national debt, according to the results of a new poll.

Americans have the national debt crisis as one of their top concerns along with war, inflation, and crime. Those polled think the overspending has a direct impact on their personal security and also has an impact on the security of the United States, according to a recent study commissioned by Main Street Economics, a nonprofit group designed to educate Americans on the nation’s debt crisis.

More than three-fourths of respondents (78%) also believe that the national debt has a significant impact on their day-to-day lives.

In late December 2023, U.S. gross national debt topped $34 trillion. In fiscal year 2023, lawmakers ran a deficit of at least $1.7 trillion.

The survey, done by John Zogby Strategies, polled 1,000 voters and was the first of its kind to examine the impact of the debt on average Americans.

“People are concerned about the deteriorating financial condition of the country,” said former Comptroller General of the United States David Walker, a Main Street Economics advisory board member, told The Center Square. “They get a lot more concerned when they understand the connectivity between excessive spending, higher interest rates [and] inflation.”

Other findings from the study:

  • More than eight of every 10 American voters (84%) agree that the consequences of a government default on its debt make it something that must be addressed quickly.
  • More than nine of every 10 voters (91%) said neglecting to act on the problem of the national debut would have long-lasting financial impacts on their lives.
  • If the national debt is not dealt with, 84% agree that interest rates on loans will continue to skyrocket.

The poll showed that more than two-thirds (67%) agree that the federal government should create a bipartisan commission to look at the debt crisis and educate Americans on its potential long-term ramifications.

“As our national political leaders take the initial steps to tackle this issue, having a benchmark to measure the sentiment of American voters is an essential and invaluable tool,” Main Street Economics Founder and CEO Les Rubin said. “It is clear that our out-of-control spending and $34 trillion of debt is a major concern to our citizens.”

Interest costs on the country’s debt increased 23% to $879 billion in fiscal 2023. That’s a record high. Interest costs accounted for 14% of total federal spending as of September 2023. The cost of maintaining that debt is expected to grow. The Congressional Budget Office released projections in June 2023 that showed interest costs would “exceed all mandatory spending other than that for the major health care programs and Social Security by 2027, all discretionary outlays by 2047, and all spending on Social Security by 2051.”


This article was published by Center Square and is reproduced with permission.


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