Reality Check: Was Debt Ceiling Vote "Political Theater"?

By Ben Swann email | bio

(FOX19) - Thursday, Moody's Investors Service threatened that if the U.S. does not raise the debt limit, we will risk a downgrade to our triple a credit rating.

The President has asked Congress to raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion dollars.  The issue was put to a vote. Increase the debt ceiling now, without attaching any strings. The measure was crushed.  Every Republican voted against it and nearly half of all Democrats.  The numbers:  97 for to 318 against.

Republicans knew the measure would fail.  So why even bring it to a vote?  Some Democrats referred to the whole thing as political theater.  Republicans say they wanted to demonstrate that there is not a willingness among both sides of the isle to raise the debt ceiling without serious cuts.  Republicans are now sitting down with the President to talk.

Congress may not be interested in raising the debt ceiling without serious cuts because the majority of Americans are not interested in raising it at all.

A study by the PEW research center shows that 50% of people polled say they feel like they understand the possible implications of not raising the debt limit.  Of those voters by a 52%-to-37% margin they are more concerned with raising the debt ceiling and encouraging more spending than they are with defaulting on obligations.  Among those who say they don't understand the implications well the numbers are pretty close, 45% vs. 34%.

The bottom-line, according to those numbers the majority of Republicans Democrats and Independents do not trust the feds to raise the debt ceiling and yet control their spending.  And as we enter the 2012 political season, that is where the real power is in this debate.

And that is Reality Check.