Americans Believe Deficit is Largest Looming Problem

For the first time since Gallup has started asking the question, the federal deficit tops the list of problems Americans say the nation will face 25 years from now. In a poll of 1,014 adults conducted March 4-17, 14 percent identified the federal budget deficit as the largest problem the country will face. Gallup said that this marks the first time that more than 5 percent surveyed chose the deficit. Another 11 percent chose the economy and the same number chose the environment. Gallup said that typically, those issues top the list, although in 2005 and 2006, Americans thought that Social Security would be the largest looming problem.


The Gallup results follow on the heels of an analysis by the group Public Agenda, which found that based on polls over the past two years, the percentage of Americans worried that the federal debt will harm their children and grandchildren has grown. The same analysis reported that based on polls conducted by the Associated Press between April 2009 and Jan 2010, more than 70 percent of those polled said that the federal budget deficit was extremely important or very important to them personally.