Poll: If US Defaults, Neither Side Avoids Blame

Americans evenly split on whether Biden or Republicans are at fault
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2023 12:33 PM CDT
Poll: If US Defaults, Neither Side Avoids Blame
   (Getty Images / madsci)

Based on a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, Americans are divided on which political party would be to blame if the federal government defaulted on its debts, reports Politico. A slight plurality of respondents—39%—would hold congressional Republicans responsible. However, the Biden administration didn't get off unscathed, as it was not far behind with 36%. In the poll, 16% of respondents believed that both parties would share equal blame.

As a possible default looms, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warning earlier this week that it could occur as early as June 1, the poll found that 58% of those surveyed agreed with President Biden's stance that talks about lifting the debt ceiling should not be linked to spending cuts sought by Republicans. This suggests that a majority of Americans align with Biden's approach of addressing these matters one at a time—only 26% say the ceiling should be lifted only in exchange for cuts, notes the Post. When the poll was broken down by party, most Republicans (78%) would lay the blame on Biden, just as most Democrats (78%) would blame Republican legislators.

A US default on debt could lead to a financial crisis and economic instability, affecting global markets. Per CNN, defaulting would mean that the government couldn't make payments on outstanding loans, eroding investor confidence and increasing borrowing costs for the both government and consumers. Additionally, it could also damage the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency, impacting international trade and causing disruptions in the global financial system. Moreover, a default could result in a downgrade of the country's credit rating, making it more expensive to borrow money in the future. (More national debt stories.)

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