Debt Limit? Why Should I Care?

McClatchy Washington BureauOctober 9, 2013 

Debt ceiling? What, me worry?

People generally don't understand what it's all about, and a lot don't fear the economic fallout, according to a new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection poll.

Sixty-two percent thought a higher debt limit means allowing more borrowing "for future expenditures," while 28 percent think it's to pay off debts already accumulated--the correct answer.

"With less than 10 days until the nation hits its borrowing limit, the poll found that the misunderstanding was rampant. It was shared by the young and the elderly, the rich and the poor, the college educated and those with only high schools educations," according to a poll analysis.

"The confusion is one reason President Obama has continued to play professor and try to explain the law to Americans," the analysis said.

Many also don't see why this is all such a big deal. 54 percent of Republicans "basically shrug at the deadline, saying it can pass without major economic consequences," the survey found.

But 62 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of independents thought it was "absolutely essential" to lift the debt limit.

The federal government is expected to exhaust its borrowing authority Oct. 17.

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