Americans would rather see the government shut down than increase spending, according to a recent poll. The survey was undertaken by Rasmussen and revealed that 54% would prefer a partial government shutdown until the two main parties agreed to either slash spending or keep it at its current level. Only 38% said they would prefer the debt ceiling to be raised.
A majority of 68% blame the government and excessive spending on the recent standoff between Republicans and Democrats which ended just as the deadline to reach an agreement was met. After weeks of deadlock, parties finally came up with a deal on June 1st. Leaders on both sides hailed the deal a “win,” but dissenters said it was a disaster. Others believe there should be no agreement and the government should spend as it wishes without consulting Congress.
In separate surveys, the view of Americans on the debt ceiling becomes clearer. An Economist/YouGov poll asked respondents if they believed failure to reach an agreement would result in a crisis for the US. Only 37% said it would. A Harvard/Harris survey found that 64% of voters thought the Republicans should not agree to raise the debt ceiling without spending cut concessions from the Democrats, but the situation was reversed in yet another poll by the Washington Post. This one found that 28% believed President Biden should agree to cuts, while 59% felt he should not.
The debt ceiling is the amount the government is allowed to borrow – something it needs to do to pay its debts and fund the country’s running costs. It has been raised 89 times by both Republican and Democratic administrations. This year, Republicans said they would only support an increase in Congress if the White House would cut back, particularly on welfare entitlements. If an agreement had not been reached, the US could have defaulted on its debts and triggered a global financial crisis and an American recession.