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Voters Losing Hope Over the American Dream, Survey Finds

Registered voters in the U.S. are seeing lots of gloom and doom these days, a new survey shows. They are unsure about the debt ceiling, not confident in Social Security and many feel like the American dream is a thing of the past.

With both houses of Congress continuing to dither over a balanced budget , Americans appear to be losing assurance in the government, according to the most recent semimonthly survey of more than 5,000 U.S. voters conducted by BIGresearch.

Nearly three-quarters of registered voters are somewhat or very concerned about a potential financial Armageddon if the debt ceiling isn't raised. There is nearly an even split on what would happen: 42.4 percent think the U.S. will default on its payments and 37.5 percent have faith that the government will find a way to pay.

If payments have to be prioritized, voters want to see Social Security benefits (76.9 percent), Medicare/Medicaid benefits (59.1 percent) and spending on education (33.9 percent) taken care of first and paid in full.

Voters are not optimistic about the future of Social Security. Nearly half of voters would rather or invest their own money for retirement. Among younger voters ages 18 to 34, agreement zooms to 61.5 percent. Government-sponsored programs in general are falling out of favor, especially when they are funded with taxes.  Nearly three-quarters would rather shrink the size of government than raise taxes to fund the government and all its current programs.

Fewer than half of voters feel the American dream is still alive and well, while 36.6 percent think it's on a slab in the morgue with its toes curled. This is reflected in the number of voters who would opt for a trip in a time machine. If given the option to live in a decade other than the current one, 72.2 percent would take the offer.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.



Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.