FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Despite that nasty game of chicken going on in Washington over raising the debt ceiling, congressional leaders from both parties have agreed that doing it is necessary.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/07/13/art.debt.clock.jpg caption="National debt exceeds $14.3 trillion as the government faces an August 2 deadline to get congressional leaders to agree to a deal."]
The argument is over what else goes into a such bill that's tying them up and bringing us dangerously close to defaulting on some of our loans.
But according to a new Gallup poll, 42% of Americans don't want the debt ceiling raised and want their members of Congress to vote against any measure that raises it. Only 22 percent want their lawmakers to vote for raising the debt ceiling. One third of Americans say they are unsure.
When asked which is a greater concern, 51% say raising the debt ceiling without plans for major spending cuts worries them more. Only about 1/3 say they are more concerned with the risk of a major economic crisis if Congress does not take action.
But there are two separate issues here. Republican lawmakers have tied voting to raise the debt ceiling to long term deficit reduction. The fact is, if we don't raise the ceiling by August 2 and the U.S. defaults on some of its loans... interest rates would shoot up, the dollar would plummet, stock markets around the world would tumble. If you think things are ugly now, they could get much uglier.
In a separate poll, the number of Americans who believe the country is on the wrong track rose to 63% this month, up three percentage points from June. And if the United States fails to pay its creditors, it's a good bet that number will go even higher.
Here’s my question to you: What does it mean that 42 percent of Americans don't want Congress to raise the debt ceiling?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jeff in Virginia:
It means that most of the taxpayers in this country have to live on a budget, and our government needs to start doing that. We can't continue doing everything we do with borrowed money. It doesn't matter if it's wars, defense spending, or even some of the entitlements. I will agree that taxes should go up a little bit, but it has to be fair to everyone.
Jim in Chicago:
Americans see the present danger of outrageous debt and foresee the dire consequences of more debt further piled on. President Obama's requests for more debt would be like asking the captain of the Titanic to hit another iceberg.
Alex in Bremerton, Washington:
It means that Americans realize that we can't keep borrowing $0.40 of every dollar our government spends. But a similar majority do not want any cuts to the programs that benefit them like Social Security and Medicare. Like AP reporter Charles Babington wrote, "Voters generally oppose large deficits, higher taxes and cuts in programs that benefit them - a painless but impossible combination."
It means the citizens think Obama has squandered far too much of our money, at a time when we can ill afford it, and we are all fed up with that!
Michael in Fairfax, Virginia:
Americans see this as the definition of our debt problems. If the debt limit is raised, it seems counter-productive in the crusade to lower the deficit. Now is viewed as the best time to start a process by which this debt can be made manageable. America needs this to happen before the limit can be raised.
It means that once and for all average Americans are sick and tired of lunatic federal government. runaway spending, the deceit covering up where all the billions actually go, and the mindless casual attitude of how horribly this will affect our children, and beyond. Thank God for a few leaders with a backbone!! Enough!!!