With the national debt surpassing $23 trillion, Americans are expressing concern that Congress should spend more time focused on reducing it, according to a poll commissioned by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
Part of the November Fiscal Confidence Index, the poll indicates that voters want their leaders to take action to manage the debt.
More than eight in 10 voters (84 percent) say the president and Congress should spend more time focused on reducing the debt. Seventy-six percent of voters (74 percent of Independents, 72 percent of Democrats and 84 percent of Republicans) want the national debt to be among the top three priorities addressed by the president and congress.
"At $23 trillion and counting, the national debt is a major concern for the vast majority of Americans across party lines,” Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation, said in a statement. “Voters see our nation’s rising debt as a growing threat to America’s economy, our ability to address critical national priorities, and our quality of life. Citizens want leaders to set a stronger, smarter fiscal course for the future.”
The Fiscal Confidence Index measures public opinion on the national debt through six questions that prioritizes the level of concern about the national debt, how high a priority addressing the debt should be for elected leaders is to voters, and their expectations about whether the debt will get better or worse over the next few years.
The Fiscal Confidence Index, like the Consumer Confidence Index, is based on a scale of 0 to 200, with a neutral midpoint of 100. The November 2019 Fiscal Confidence Index value is 45, down from 54 in October and 62 in September.
Conducted by the Global Strategy Group and North Star Opinion Research, the poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters nationwide between Nov. 18 and 21, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. It examined voters’ opinions on the national debt, political leadership and America’s fiscal and economic health.
Nearly three quarters polled, 74 percent, said their concern about the national debt’s expansion has increased over the past few years. Sixty-two percent said they believe the nation is on the wrong track.