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.

In The News

Health

Voting

Spotlight

Washington, D.C., One Step Closer to Statehood
Congress
Washington, D.C., One Step Closer to Statehood
April 23, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday to make the District of Columbia the 51st U.S. state at a time political support for the legislation is the strongest it has ever been. The bill, entitled H.R. 51, now heads to the Senate, where... Read More

Warren Buffett Joins Effort by Corporate America to Condemn Voting Restrictions
Political News
Warren Buffett Joins Effort by Corporate America to Condemn Voting Restrictions
April 18, 2021
by Dan McCue

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett joined hundreds of other capitalists and corporate titans in signing an open letter condeming “discrimnatory” legislation designed to curtail voting rights. The letter, which appeared under the headline “We Stand for Democracy,” appeared as a double-page, centerfold advertisement in Thursday’s editions of... Read More

Disease Experts Look to the End Of Pandemic But Aren't Sure When
Health
Disease Experts Look to the End Of Pandemic But Aren't Sure When
April 16, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- As the U.S. death toll reached 564,000 from COVID-19, the nation’s top disease experts said Thursday normal life will return for Americans only when enough of them get vaccinated. But with more than 70,000 new infections daily, they could not predict for Congress when... Read More

Material Hardship Can Cause  Adverse Health Outcomes in Young Adults
Mental Health
Material Hardship Can Cause Adverse Health Outcomes in Young Adults
April 15, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

An Urban Institute survey covering the first year of the coronavirus pandemic found that despite a steep drop in employment, the share of young adults reporting food insecurity or problems paying utility and medical bills actually declined compared to previous studies.  “Measures of hardship look at... Read More

‘Devil is in the Details’ of Corporate Tax Reform
Business
‘Devil is in the Details’ of Corporate Tax Reform
April 9, 2021
by Victoria Turner

Just as corporations and tax practitioners are beginning to adjust to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Biden administration’s proposed changes would introduce further complexities into an already complicated system, according to three U.S.-based tax attorneys. Biden’s proposal increases the standard corporate tax rate,... Read More

U.S. Trade Deficit Hits Record High in February
Trade
U.S. Trade Deficit Hits Record High in February
April 7, 2021
by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON - The U.S. trade deficit surged to a record high in February as the nation’s economic activity rebounded more quickly than that of other nations carefully shake off the economic hardships associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The trade deficit jumped 4.8% to a record $71.1... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top