Poll: 62 percent say debt ceiling deal benefits the rich and hurts the poor
Sixty-two percent of Americans think the bill that raises the federal’s debt ceiling through the year 2013 and makes major cuts in government spending benefits the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class, according to a CNN/ORC poll released on Monday.
President Barack Obama signed a debt ceiling deal into law, called the the Budget Control Act of 2011, last week that to raise the debt ceiling until 2013 and cut the federal deficit by about $2.1 trillion over a 10-year period. The two-stage agreement, which was criticized by both tea party lawmakers and progressive Democrats, passed by a vote of 269 to 161 in the House and a vote of 74 to 26 in the Senate.
Only 27 percent say that the debt ceiling deal treats all classes fairly and 11 percent have no opinion.
The poll (PDF) also found that 47 percent of Americans rate the economy “pretty badly” and 28 percent rate it “very badly.” Only 23 percent think the economy is going “fairly well” and a meager 1 percent say it is going “very well.”
Another CNN/ORC poll (PDF) released Monday found that 60 percent of Americans think the economy is the most important issue currently facing the nation. In contrast, only 16 percent think the federal budget deficit is the most important issue and only 9 percent think health care is the most important issue.
More specifically, 49 percent of Americans think unemployment is the biggest economic issue, 27 percent think the federal budget deficit is the biggest issue, 12 percent think the price of gasoline is the biggest issue and 5 percent think the tax rate is the biggest issue.
Despite the debt ceiling deal, Standard & Poor lowered the U.S. long-term sovereign debt rating from AAA to AA+ on Friday, citing Washington’s inability to rein in its mounting deficits with spending cuts and Republican’s resistance to raising revenues.