Fiscal Confidence Index: October 2021 Results

Topline survey results from the Fiscal Confidence Index for October 2021. The FCI value for October is 45.

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation commissioned this poll by the Global Strategy Group and North Star Opinion Research to survey public opinion on the national debt. The online poll included 1,000 registered voters nationwide, surveyed between October 18, 2021 and October 20, 2021. 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.

The Fiscal Confidence Index value is derived from six questions in three categories: Concern, Priority, and Expectations. The October 2021 scores are: Concern (42), Priority (25), Expectations (69). For the complete methodology used to determine the Fiscal Confidence Index value, click here. For full results, including demographic information, download the PDF below:


Concern (42)

Thinking about our national debt over the last few years, would you say your level of concern has increased or decreased?

Is that a lot or just a little?

Increased a lot 55%
Increased a little 27%
Decreased a little 4%
Decreased a lot 4%
(No change) 6%
(Don't Know/Refused) 4%
INCREASED (NET) 83%
DECREASED (NET) 7%

When it comes to addressing our national debt, would you say things in the United States are heading in the right direction or do you think things are off on the wrong track?

Do you feel that way strongly or just somewhat?

Right direction - Strongly 15%
Right direction - Somewhat 21%
Wrong track - Somewhat 22%
Wrong track - Strongly 37%
(Neither/Mixed) *
(Don't Know/Refused) 4%
RIGHT DIRECTION (NET) 36%
WRONG TRACK (NET) 59%

Priority (25)

Some people say that addressing the national debt should be among the President and Congress' top 3 priorities. Do you agree or disagree?

Do you feel that way strongly or just somewhat?

Strongly agree 55%
Somewhat agree 24%
Somewhat disagree 11%
Strongly disagree 6%
(Don't Know/Refused) 5%
AGREE (NET) 79%
DISAGREE (NET) 16%

And when it comes to our national debt, do you think it is an issue that the President and Congress should spend more time addressing or less time addressing?

Would you say a lot (more or less) time or just a little?

A lot more time 55%
A little more time 27%
A little less time 8%
A lot less time 4%
(The same amount of time) 3%
(Don't Know/Refused) 4%
MORE TIME (NET) 82%
LESS TIME (NET) 12%

Expectations (69)

And thinking about our national debt over the next few years, do you expect the problem to get better or worse?

Is that much (better or worse) or just somewhat (better or worse)?

Much better 13%
Somewhat better 17%
Somewhat worse 26%
Much worse 40%
(No change) 2%
(Don't know/Refused) 4%
BETTER (NET) 30%
WORSE (NET) 65%

And when it comes to our national debt, are you optimistic or pessimistic that the United States will be able to make progress on our national debt over the next few years?

Would you say you are very (optimistic or pessimistic) or just somewhat?

Very optimistic 11%
Somewhat optimistic 31%
Somewhat pessimistic 28%
Very pessimistic 25%
(Neither/Mixed) 2%
(Don't Know/Refused) 3%
OPTIMISTIC (NET) 42%
PESSIMISTIC (NET) 53%

What Does the Debt Mean for Our Future?

We all have a responsibility to build a brighter fiscal and economic future for the next generation.

National Debt Clock

See the latest numbers and learn more about the causes of our high and rising debt.