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Shock poll reveals Americans will blame Biden if US defaults

By Elizabeth Delaney
|
May 26, 2023

There's quite a bit of angst in Washington regarding the ability of the U.S. to meet its financial obligations as congressional talks continue about the overall impact of raising the debt ceiling once again without tying it to any budget cuts.

Who would get the blame if there is a U.S. default depends on who you ask. Perhaps the biggest shock surrounding the blame game is a poll that found a slim majority of Americans would blame President Biden if there is a U.S. default.

What the Polls Reveal Verses Who Biden Blames

When Fox News conducted their poll, it was discovered that 47 percent of respondents would blame the president in the event of a default on the country's debt, while 44 percent would blame the GOP, Political Wire reported.

When ABC News conducted their poll, they found that 39 percent of respondents would blame the GOP, 36 percent would blame Biden, and 16 percent would blame both parties equally.

Biden's personal take on who would shoulder the burden was revealed at the G7 Summit in Japan on Sunday when Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked Biden if he believed he'd be "blameless in a default situation."

Regarding the negotiations, Biden said, "I've done my part. It's time for the other side to move their team positions because much of what they were proposed is simply quite frankly, unacceptable."

Biden claimed that there are certain "MAGA Republicans" who want to cause a default and an economic crash to thwart his re-election efforts.

As for whether or not he believes he personally would stand accused, Biden replied, "On the merits, based on what I've offered, I would be blameless.

"On the politics of it, no one would be blameless. And by the way, that's one of the, one of the things some [people] are contemplating. Well, I gotta be careful here. I think there are some MAGA Republicans in the House who know the damage that it would do to the economy and because I am president, and presidents are responsible for everything, Biden would take the blame. And that's the one way to make sure Biden's not re-elected," he said.

The Push for Spending Cuts

The present debt ceiling is a whopping $31 trillion, and the only strategy Biden has offered up to this point is to freeze spending at current levels next year while also introducing several tax increases, according to Daily Mail.

Republicans are pushing for spending cuts, which seems to be resonating with most Americans who are already getting pounded in their personal finances with historically high inflation.

According to a Fox News survey, 57 percent of respondents felt that the debt ceiling should only be raised if there were also spending cuts, while 27 percent felt it should be raised no matter what. There were 13 percent who felt that the country should just be allowed to default.

That same survey also found that 63 percent believed that avoiding raising the debt limit would result in financial disaster for America, while 32 percent felt that was an exaggeration.

Most Republicans (72 percent) and independents (57 percent) feel that a debt ceiling increase should only be granted if there are also spending cuts.

Democrats are more divided, but there's still a plurality (47 percent) who feel that a debt ceiling increase should happen at all costs. Only 42 percent feel that a debt ceiling increase needs to come with spending cuts.

Many Americans Fear a U.S. Default

Americans are definitely worried about how a default will impact them personally. A Reuters poll found that 76 percent of Americans fear a default would intensify their family's financial stress.

If a default actually happened, it would likely cause a recession, an increase in unemployment, an increase in interest rates, and impact the global markets in an adverse way. Much of the world's foreign currency reserves are held in U.S. dollars, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Though the debt ceiling has been increased 78 times since 1960, the U.S. has yet to default on its financial obligations, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.