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Americans to Obama on his threatened government shutdown over no debt-limit deal: OK

July 12, 2011 |  4:04 pm

Debt ceiling:

Urging others to avoid opportunistic political scare tactics in the stalemated debate over raising the debt limit or shutting down the government, President Obama warned Tuesday that, by golly, as the nation's chief executive he just couldn't guarantee now that those Social Security and Veteran's Administration entitlement checks would be going out as scheduled in early August if they don't get a deal.

It's that bad.

And on Tuesday afternoon comes a new Gallup Poll with what appears to be voters' reaction: OK, if you don't cut spending big time.Button Obama Blaming Bush since 2002

The new Gallup survey finds 42% of Americans are just fine with not raising the debt ceiling.

That's nearly twice the 22% who want their member of Congress to vote in favor of approving the debt-ceiling increase from $14.3 trillion to something even more unimaginable.

In the 903 days since Obama took office, the national debt has risen about $4 trillion, a pretty good spending clip even for Chicago pols. Of course, it's all due to what's-his-name from Texas.

And since spending $787 billion for economic stimulus didn't get the country's unemployment rate down (it just went back up to 9.2%), maybe some more spending will.

Obama clearly thinks he's got the conservative House Republicans over a political barrel, since they being Republicans want budget cuts and no new taxes and the Democrat being the Democrat would prefer the opposite.

The fight in the next two weeks leading up to the arbitrary deadline may be over the 35% of Americans Gallup finds are unsure about raising the legal authority of the federal government to spend even more money that it doesn't have.

Republicans are most unified over opposing the increase: 60% No, 11% Yes, 29% Unsure.

Independent voters, a crucial part of Obama's victory coalition in 2008, are almost equally opposed to the increase now: 46% No, 18% Yes, 36% Unsure.

Even Democrats seem a tad uncertain, if you can believe that: 21% No, 39% Yes, 40% Unsure.

Asked another way, Americans are even more opposed to the debt-ceiling increase.

Gallup asked which concerns you more, raising the debt limit without planning major spending cuts or encountering a major economic crisis if you don't.

Perhaps noting that Minnesota has not exploded after a two-week government shutdown, the country comes down on the side of more concern for not cutting federal spending (51%) to Tim Geithner's threatened economic crisis (32%).

In the 2007-08 campaigns, then-candidate Obama promised to bring bipartisanship. Well, now he's got it.

Voters are thinking in a bipartisan fashion over Obama's spending and shutdown threats: Democrats (45%), Independents (52%) and Republicans (57%) all agree that not having spending cuts is worse than any hypothetical economic problems later. Seeing as how we've had economic problems for a few years now and Air Force One still seems capable of plenty of flying.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo illustration: Andrew Malcolm