Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Monday, March 18, 2019

Poll: Republicans Admit Debt Ceiling Crisis Bad For Economy, But Want It Anyway


A new Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Wednesday reveals that a majority of Republicans who know that not raising the debt ceiling will seriously harm the economy still don’t want to see it raised.

The poll finds that Americans are almost evenly split: 46 percent want Congress to raise the debt limit “so the government can keep paying its bills and obligations,” while 43 percent want Congress “not to raise the debt limit and let the government default on paying its bills and obligations.”

However, 73 percent of people surveyed said they believe that not raising the debt limit would “cause serious harm to the U.S. economy.” Among Republicans who believe that not raising the debt limit would seriously impact the economy, 53 percent still say it should not be raised anyway.

Washington Post’s Greg Sargent summed it up best:

—Republicans are far more likely to oppose raising the debt limit than anyone else; they say “don’t raise it” by 61-25. By contrast, Dems say “raise it “by 62-31, and independents split by 48-46 on raising versus not raising it.

—Republicans, however, also believe overwhelmingly that not raising it would cause serious economic harm — by 66-27. (Dems and indies tilt the same way.)

—How to square that? Simple: Among Republicans who believe not raising it would cause serious economic harm, a majority say “don’t raise it” by 53-32.

By contrast, among Americans overall who say not raising it would cause serious harm, they tilt in favor of raising it by 54-35. Independents who say not raising it would cause serious harm also tilt in favor of raising it by 58-36.

House leaders John Boehner (R-OH) and Eric Cantor (R-VA), accompanied by their enthusiastic conservative colleagues, have said that they are willing to raise the debt ceiling if Obamacare is delayed another year, among other demands. On Thursday, Speaker Boehner, who recently criticized President Obama for not “negotiating” with Republicans, affirmed that he would not go to the White House for any negotiations. He even seemed surprised by the suggestion that he would do his part in negotiating, saying: “Whoa, I’m not doing that. I’m not doing that.”

If not raising the debt ceiling represents another way of stalling a necessary process, Republicans are merely doing what they do best.

The poll was conducted by telephone from September 12-15 and surveyed 1,004 people. It has a margin of error +/- 4 points.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via

  • Share this on Google+0
  • Share this on Linkedin0
  • Share this on Reddit0
  • Print this page
  • 0

14 responses to “Poll: Republicans Admit Debt Ceiling Crisis Bad For Economy, But Want It Anyway”

  1. JSquercia says:

    Where was these guys when Reagan was Tripling the National Debt or even when Dubya was in Office .

  2. charleo1 says:

    Well, all I can say is a big % of the American public need to firmly grasp that part
    of their head not stuck up their rear ends. And educate themselves on what not
    raising the debt ceiling would do. Because if that’s where we are as a Country.
    And we muck around in the international bond market, telecasting to the world,
    that yes, everything they’ve been hearing about the politics in America, is true!
    There really is a group in Congress, that openly admit they know doing this will
    hurt the economy, shake the faith of the world economy, and that could lead to
    an increase in interest rates on the Federal debt. And that over time will lead to
    hundreds of billions of dollars needlessly flushed down the drain. But, they want
    to do it anyway. Because they want to stop wasteful spending. Explain that.

    • TZToronto says:

      I’m sure most of those who want to keep the debt ceiling from rising see only two things. First, they think raising the debt ceiling means more debt. Second, they think the debt ceiling is like the credit limit on a credit card and that raising the debt ceiling opens the door to higher deficits and more debt. (They don’t understand that raising the debt ceiling merely ensures that debts that Congress has already approved can be paid. (Raising the debt ceiling supports the 14th Amendment, but those who want to trash the economy are Constitutional cherry-pickers.) They know that if they had a higher limit on their credit card, they’d spend more. They also don’t understand that the national debt is not like household debt, and they also don’t understand that a good chunk of the national debt is owed to America, not to China. (They also think that most of the national debt is owed to China, but it isn’t.) Your analysis of credit ratings and interest rates goes well beyond what most of the Tea Party and those they control in Congress want to think about. What they really want is for the economy to go into a tailspin so they can blame it on the “incompetent Muslim socialist” in the White House. Any thinking person knows where the problem lies, and it’s not in the White House.

      • charleo1 says:

        Sorry for the late reply. Agreed with every word! Well said.

        • TZToronto says:

          Here in Toronto there’s a former telecom CEO and former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in Ontario who has a late afternoon talk radio show (John Tory–yes, that’s his real name). While he’s politically conservative, he’s a thinking conservative. And he’s socially progressive. He see inequality in society and actually works under the radar to improve the lives of ordinary Ontarians. (That’s why he got tossed out as party leader a number of years ago.) However, before the 2012 U.S. election he made a throw-away remark to a caller that, of course, President Obama is incompetent. What was most telling, though, was the way he referred to incompetence, as though everyone thinks that President Obama is incompetent without giving any examples of why he felt that way. I had the last laugh. John Tory can’t vote in the U.S., but I can.

          • charleo1 says:

            One staggering hypocrisy out of many, is the Right’s insistence
            that Obama has somehow misrepresented himself as a person
            who promised to unite the Country. While using their own
            obstructionism as proof of his deliberate intent to be divisive.
            As if to say, we’ve tried very hard to get Obama to work with us Republicans. And he refuses our ongoing generous offers of bipartisanship. Sure they have! One writer put it squarely on the spot, when he stated, “If Barack Obama came out in favor of using dental floss, the entire Right Wing would allow their teeth rot right out of their head, before they would agree with this President!”

  3. Bill Thompson says:

    This pretty much confirms it the majority of America are a bunch of morons. To believe defaulting on your bills that you have already approved is a viable strategy defies logic. This strategy mind you is all under the guise of responsibility. The numbers stated above are nothing short of mind numbing.

  4. Rick2101 says:

    It is a revenue problem, not a spending problem. Every American wants the services from government they think they deserve and rightfully so, they paid for them. The wealthy have a larger stake in freedom, so they should pay more proportionally for that freedom. Even Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations, that so many flaunt, also believed in reasonable taxes. “It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expence, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

  5. Allan Richardson says:

    The actual debt ceiling is raised when Congress votes to spend the money, regardless of what the “make believe” ceiling is. The 14th Amendment requires the government to pay for what it has purchased, even if more debt is required to do so in the short run. President Obama should just wait until the Congress fails to act, then ignore this phony “ceiling” and keep paying our debts as usual.

    • TZToronto says:

      By definition (in the 14th Amendment) the U.S. cannot default on its debts. So you’re right. The bills will still get paid without a debt ceiling increase–as long as President Obama orders that the checks be written. Perhaps this is what the Republicans in Congress are hoping for. The bills will get paid, but they’ll be able to say to their Tea Party masters that they did as they were told. They didn’t increase the debt ceiling–Obama did, against their wishes. Then watch what happens. They’ll claim that allowing the bills to be paid when Congress did not approve it amounts to an impeachable offense, and they’ll vote to impeach him, along party lines. (Their base’s ignorance of the Constitution will result in huge support among Tea Partiers.) However, the ultimate defense for President Obama will be that the 14th Amendment takes precedence over Congressional approval (kind of like the President being the Commander in Chief). And of course, the Senate will vote to acquit along party lines. . . . Another stupid waste of time and money by House Republicans.

  6. MJRinPA says:

    ” Among Republicans who believe that not raising the debt limit would
    seriously impact the economy, 53 percent still say it should not be
    raised anyway.”
    That says everything. They are willing to hold their breath till they pass out, they are willing to destroy the economy,…just to get their way in everything. It’s long past time to vote out the Tea Party/GOP/Republicans in Congress.

    • TZToronto says:

      Holding their breath until they pass out is a slightly inaccurate analogy. If you hold your breath until you pass out, you’ll start breathing again while you’re passed out. The Republican obstructionism is more like taking poison and hoping it works.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.