What to cut?The debt ceiling debate continues to rage inside the Beltway, but are Americans tuning it out?

New results from the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index shows that 46% of people surveyed have no opinion on the issue. However, of those who are following the issue, more than two-thirds are against raising the debt ceiling and one-third favored raising it.

Half of the survey respondents were also asked about the potential financial consequences if the debt ceiling is not raised by the Aug. 2 deadline. The majority responded that the U.S. Treasury debt holders should be the first group the government defaults on, followed by nonmilitary government employees.Raising The Debt Ceiling Only 10% of respondents said the government should cut back on paying the Army, and even fewer, 7%, said Social Security recipients. The survey was conducted in a telephone poll of 1,003 people between June 15 to June 23.

The researchers also found that survey respondents fell along political lines, with the majority of those in favor of raising the debt ceiling identifying as Democrats, and those who said no to raising the debt ceiling more likely to be Republicans or Independents. According to the report:

"Although half of the participants were forced to think about tough economic choices – that not raising the debt ceiling may eventually force the United States to default on its obligations – this didn't influence their stance on the issue," said Luigi Zingales, co-author and professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. "In fact, what we found is that support or opposition was correlated with political affiliation, reinforcing the role of politics in driving opinion in this debate."


If the debt ceiling is not raised, who should the government stop paying first?
US treasury debt holders2491 (24.3%)
government employees4526 (44.2%)
social security recipients316 (3.1%)
The government shouldn't stop paying2916 (28.5%)

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rjhpwh12

RICHARD OAKLEY...Great comment! I second the motion.
Mr. President, you gave away all of our money! Now, find a way to get it back! Why has there been no mention of all the money given to illegals and all the free benefits given to the same? How about all the weapons given to the drugies in Mexico so they can kill Americans? How about all the money we give other countries for basically nothing? Come on man (sir), if you can't find a solution with all of the governmental waste, move out and let someone else do it!!!!!

July 29 2011 at 5:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eileen

The first payments to skip should be congressional salaries. Unless there is headroom beneath the debt ceiling -- and there is an approved fiscal year budget, they are not earning their keep.

July 28 2011 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom and Wanda

100 year jubliee, as in the OLD TESTAMENT for US.. citizens. Pray people and turn this Nation back over to GOD!

July 27 2011 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tgglover

stop paying congress first - beginning with all Tea Party members!!!!!

July 27 2011 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jcelvis1

Congress, senate, president

July 27 2011 at 3:47 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
cat

I think they need to stop paying everyone of them in congress that has stolen all the money people have worked hard for and put it in their pockets.Give us our money let us live within our means.then you can start yelling live within your means.Won't have money to steel then.I am trying to find out if their is someone people can go thru and get the money we have worked for and paid in to get what is ours.It is ours not yours to do what you want with.People have to live let all of you see what you have done to make it hard on people just to exsist not survive.No such thing any more.You are not paying Welfare it is money we have worked for and paid in not yours.

July 27 2011 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ratta33

The government should stop paying congress, senate and the excutive branch employeees.
The govvernment should stop all expenses by the congress such as mailers and political
advertising.
Stop paying foreign aid and earmarkers.
Cut back on non essential expenses just like business's and household do instead of putting the tax
payers and seniors at risk.

July 27 2011 at 10:02 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ratta33's comment
kimmie9182000

I fully agree!

July 27 2011 at 11:01 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
hgeorgech

Without question ... stop paying this inept, "Do Nothing" Congress .. in fact, make it retroactive to when every member took office!

July 27 2011 at 7:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Cox

STOP ALL PAYMENTS TO ALL SENATERS,CONGRESSMEN, PRESIDENT AND SO ON.!!! MY GOD YOU DONT SEE THOSE RETRDED REPUBILICANS DOING THAT FOR THE COUNTRY THEY SAY THEY LOVE.!!! ALL THEY LOVE IS GETTING THERE KICK BACKS AND UNDER THE TABLE MONEY FROM THE OIL CO.!!!!!

July 25 2011 at 11:23 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Ann

I would stop paying any country who still owes us money from previous wars. Then cut all payments to farming operations for not planting crops. Eliminate non-essential support money for what is often termed "pork barrel" spending. Limt the ability to offset gains with carry-over losses to 50%. Eliminate any corporate salary deduction for bonuses paid to executives making over $1 mil. Increase the maximum tax rate to 40% for individuals while keeping the tax brackets at the same income levels. Eliminate refundable credits. Increase the social security payroll deduction back to the original 6.5%. Bring manufacturing jobs back to America by adding a payroll tax onto products produced by American owned companies manufacturing their products overseas. (Ex. Comparative pay for same work here is $12/hr, but in foreign country is $4/hr, add an $8/hr payroll tax so there will need to be another reason to produce in foreign country besides reduced payroll expenses.) Increase the salary upon which social security is taxed to $500,000 with no increase in benefits.
DO NOT INCREASE THE DEBT CEILING.

July 25 2011 at 10:52 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply