Peter G. Peterson Foundation Third Monthly "Fiscal Confidence Index" Finds Continued High Levels of Concern about America's Long-Term Debt and Significant Support for Replacing Sequester
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2013
February 2013 Fiscal Confidence Index, Modeled after the Consumer Confidence Index, is 43 (100 is Neutral), Indicating Strongly Negative Public Sentiment75% of Americans Want Congress and the President to Replace Sequester, Only 12% Want Sequester to Go Into Effect March 1st76% of Respondents Want Washington to Agree on a Long-Term Debt Plan Now to Help Improve the Economy
NEW YORK — Americans continue to be concerned about the nation's long-term debt and believe the problem is likely to get worse in the next few years, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s latest Fiscal Confidence Index, a monthly measure of public attitudes about the nation's long-term debt and the efforts elected leaders are making to address the debt.
The February 2013 Fiscal Confidence Index, modeled after the Consumer Confidence Index, is 43 (100 is neutral), indicating strongly negative public sentiment about America’s fiscal situation. Sentiment is largely unchanged from January's reading of 40, and remains below December's reading of 52.
The Fiscal Confidence Index measures public opinion about the national debt by asking six questions in three key areas:
The survey results from these three areas are weighted equally and averaged to produce the Fiscal Confidence Index value. The Fiscal Confidence Index, like the Consumer Confidence Index, is indexed on a scale of 0 to 200, with a neutral midpoint of 100. A reading above 100 indicates positive sentiment. A reading below 100 indicates negative sentiment.
"The February 2013 Fiscal Confidence Index shows that Americans remain very concerned about our long-term fiscal challenges and want Washington to agree on solutions," said Michael A. Peterson, President and COO of the Peterson Foundation. "Most Americans agree that it would help our economy to put in place a long-term plan to reduce debt levels. Americans clearly favor taking action to replace the sequester and would prefer to see a comprehensive long-term deficit reduction plan instead of automatic across-the-board cuts."
Fiscal Confidence Index Key Data Points:
Americans Want Lawmakers to Take Action on Long-Term Debt
The Peterson Foundation also asked whether lawmakers should agree on a long-term debt reduction plan now or wait until economic growth improves.
Americans Strongly Favor Sequester Replacement
As the nation approaches the March 1st deadline for sequestration to go into effect, the Peterson Foundation polled Americans on their views about sequestration and options for replacing it.
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation commissioned the poll by the Global Strategy Group to survey public opinion on the national debt. The nationwide poll included 1,003 U.S. registered voters, surveyed by telephone between February 19 and February 21, 2013. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%. The poll examined voters’ opinions on the national debt, political leadership, and America’s fiscal and economic health.
Detailed poll results can be found online at: www.pgpf.org/FiscalConfidenceIndex
About the Peter G. Peterson Foundation The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established by Pete Peterson — businessman, philanthropist, and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The Foundation is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the nature and urgency of key long-term fiscal challenges threatening America's future and to accelerating action on them. To address these challenges successfully, we work to bring Americans together to find and implement sensible, long-term solutions that transcend age, party lines and ideological divides in order to achieve real results. To learn more, please visit www.PGPF.org.
APPENDIX: Fiscal Confidence Index Methodology and Questions
2013 Fiscal Summit: Press Release
2013 Fiscal Summit: Media Advisory
Fiscal Confidence Index Results for April 2013
PGPF Provides $1 Million Grant to Newly-Established Rudman Center
Pete Peterson on Simpson-Bowles "Bipartisan Path Forward"
Analysis: President's FY 2014 Budget
Ways You Can Get Involved:
Q&A with Pete Peterson
Foundation Chairman candidly discusses fiscal and personal topics.
Engaging Americans in a movement to address the nation's fiscal challenges.
State of theUnion's Finances
Steps you can take to help cure our fiscal ills.
"I.O.U.S.A." "may be to the U.S. economy what 'An Inconvenient Truth' was to the environment."
to Get the PGPF Newsletter.
© 2009-2013 Peter G. Peterson Foundation. All rights reserved.