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Survey Shows Shutdown And Looming Default Affecting Residents' Mental Health

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Phillip Downs
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Kerr and Downs
Kerr and Downs survey shows 70-percent of residents 'uncomfortable' with level of federal debt.

A survey from a Tallahassee research firm says Leon County residents have felt the squeeze during the government shutdown. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s directly affected their pocketbooks.

Phillip Downs, partner at Tallahassee research firm Kerr and Downs, says out of close to 450 respondents, only 8-percent say the government shutdown has had a direct effect on their finances. And a similar number of respondents believe a federal default would affect them. But Downs’ study showed close to half of those who took the survey say uncertainty in Washington is having profound effects on their mental health.

“Forty-three percent of our residents have been impacted in some way and this includes psychologically. I mean, we have folks who are very nervous about this. What’s going to happen to their 401ks? What’s going to happen to their stocks? What’s going to happen to our economy? What’s going to happen to the U.S.’ reputation in the world?” Downs said.

Downs also says Leon County residents seem to be conflicted about the nation’s debt limit, with 70-percent of people “uncomfortable” with the level of federal debt. Still, the same number of people say not raising the debt limit would be “harmful” to the economy.