2008 record      


President Obama is sharply at odds with the American people in his refusal to consider any negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll.


The poll, conducted Sep. 28 to Oct. 2, found that 56% think Obama should negotiate with Congress on a plan to increase the nation's borrowing limit. Just 41% think he shouldn't.

Obama declared Thursday that "there will be no negotiations," adding that "you don't get to demand ransom in exchange for keeping the economy going."

The poll also found that 51% want a one-year ObamaCare delay as part of a debt deal, something Obama has also rejected, calling it a GOP "obsession."

Half the public would support a pre-condition that the federal government not increase spending as part of any agreement to raise the debt ceiling.

The public's views on a debt ceiling deal are more in line with recent history, which has seen both political parties use must-pass debt-ceiling bills as leverage to get their legislative priorities enacted.

In fact, a comprehensive review of past debt-ceiling votes by University of Missouri professors found "the debt bill has for decades provided an unparalleled opportunity for political opportunism."

And while Obama has claimed that non-budget items have "never" been attached to debt-ceiling votes, that 1993 study found lawmakers attached 25 non-germane amendments to debt-limit bills just between 1978 and 1987.

Among them: a nuclear freeze proposal, a bill to force U.S. troop withdrawal from Grenada, a plan to provide insurance for AIDS victims, and a bill to make money laundering a federal crime.

Obama says not raising the government's borrowing limit would be akin to an "economic shutdown" that would "risk putting us back into a bad recession." But he has so far failed to convince the public of this, according to the IBD/TIPP poll.

Just 33% believe it would cause a "great amount" of damage to the economy. In contrast, 64% believe the harm would be moderate to nonexistent.

And almost as many think continued deficits are as bad as defaulting on the debt. The poll found that 41% say continuing to spend more than the government takes in would be "the worst policy," vs. 43% saying a debt default is worse.

On the government shutdown, the IBD/TIPP poll finds that no one comes out looking good.

More than half (53%) rate Obama's leadership in the standoff as "poor" or "unacceptable." Congressional Democrats get bad grades from 58%. But GOP lawmakers take the hardest hit, with nearly 72% of those polled saying they have provided poor-to-unacceptable leadership.

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