A Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that by a 71-18 percent margin, Americans do not want the federal debt ceiling raised. I am not sure whether that is a viable option, but the message the public is trying to send is clearly correct. The country’s debt has been rising at an accelerating rate for some time. Whatever one may have thought of the debt prior to the time the Democrats took control of Congress in January 2007, it is beyond dispute that the debt we have been racking up since that time is unsustainable. At The Corner, Veronica DeRugy offers this graph, which charts both federal debt and the statutory debt limit; click to enlarge:
The problem, obviously, is the debt, not the debt limit. But the public’s focus on the debt ceiling presents both an opportunity and a hazard for Republicans–an opportunity, if they can extract substantial spending cuts and other relief in exchange for what I assume is an inevitable increase in the limit; and a hazard if they can’t, and if voters perceive an extension of the limit as evidence that Republicans aren’t following through on their promises.


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