PGPF Analysis Shows Government Shutdown Has Direct Negative Impact on American Confidence

February 1, 2019 by TWN Staff
The White House is shown during a partial shutdown of the federal government on Dec. 24, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)

This week the Peter G. Peterson Foundation issued its regular Fiscal Confidence Index for the month of January, and the findings were troubling. The report, modeled after the Consumer Confidence Index and fielded in the final days before the government reopened, showed Americans’ confidence in the country’s fiscal outlook is 46, falling 16 points since last quarter. For context, 100 is neutral. This is the largest three-month decline in the Index’s history.

PGPF argued that the falling number, caused by a prolonged government shutdown and heightened partisan gridlock, “indicates a significant increase in voters’ concern and frustration with Washington’s fiscal and budgetary brinksmanship.”

“Washington’s failure to address the national debt and critical budgetary issues has a direct negative effect on Americans’ confidence,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation. “The longer lawmakers ignore the vast majority of Americans who want them to restore fiscal order, the more that confidence will worsen, because key priorities and programs are at risk. Last week’s bipartisan agreement to temporarily reopen government should provide a starting point for lawmakers to work together to secure our collective fiscal future.”

This could be an early indication of the temperature of the American electorate headed into the next presidential election. PGPF asserts voters across party lines are more likely to say the U.S. is on the wrong track when it comes to addressing the national debt than at any time in the past year (64% wrong track, up from 57% in December). This month, 74% of voters want the President and Congress to make the debt a top-three priority, but voters are less optimistic that progress will be made (44% optimistic, down from 50% in December). This includes sharp decreases in optimism among both Democrats (33% optimistic, down from 43% in December) and Republicans (59% optimistic, down from 70% in December).

The Fiscal Confidence Index measures public opinion about the national debt by asking six questions in three key areas:

CONCERN: Level of concern and views about the direction of the national debt.

PRIORITY: How high a priority addressing the debt should be for elected leaders.

EXPECTATIONS: Expectations about whether the debt situation will get better or worse in the next few years.

Read the full report here.

Spotlight

Elevator Mechanics Hold Out Against COVID-19 Pandemic
Labor
Elevator Mechanics Hold Out Against COVID-19 Pandemic
November 17, 2020
by Reece Nations

Of all the classes of workers who have come to be highlighted as “essential” during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, one group that is often, unfairly overlooked are those who keep the infrastructure of high rise offices and residential buildings functioning -- elevator mechanics. Throughout the pandemic’s... Read More

America Will Likely Have to Wait for Biden Cabinet Picks
Political News
America Will Likely Have to Wait for Biden Cabinet Picks
November 10, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - President-elect Joe Biden wasted no time in assembling the new coronavirus task force he unveiled Monday, but it will likely be early December before the majority of Americans learn who the new president has picked for his cabinet. The plan, according to people familiar... Read More

New Government Run Health Insurance Option Could Be More Expensive Than Initial Projections, Study Shows
Health
New Government Run Health Insurance Option Could Be More Expensive Than Initial Projections, Study Shows
November 5, 2020
by Sean Trambley

WASHINGTON -- With Congress considering significant health care reforms, including creating a government-run health insurance plan called the public option, a new study shows that it could be significantly more expensive than previously estimated. The study, released by Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D., Tom Church, and Daniel... Read More

Ads Distort Gordon's Military Service
2020 Elections
Ads Distort Gordon's Military Service
October 27, 2020
by Dan McCue

This is an installment of an ongoing series of political advertising fact checks during the 2020 campaign. If you would like to submit an advertisement for consideration, please email a link to [email protected] A pair of advertisements, one funded by a super PAC dedicated to securing... Read More

Corporate Pro Bono Initiatives Deliver Legal Aid to Those Who Need It Most
Business
Corporate Pro Bono Initiatives Deliver Legal Aid to Those Who Need It Most
October 27, 2020
by Sean Trambley

When Gwen Boyd-Willis was released from a Georgia women’s prison after a four-month sentence for fraudulently using an ATM card left in a machine, she faced new barriers to gaining employment and becoming a productive member of society. Candid with her mistakes, she wanted to make... Read More

Georgia's Tilt Toward Blue an Ominous Specter for GOP Heading into Election
2020 Elections
Georgia's Tilt Toward Blue an Ominous Specter for GOP Heading into Election
October 24, 2020
by Dan McCue

President Donald Trump was in his element. Standing before more than 1,000 supporters who had jammed a large hanger facility at Middle Georgia Regional Airport in Macon, Ga., he promised a "red wave" would crush Democrats in November. He had not a moment of doubt, he... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top