Most Americans Think Our Morals Are Going To Hell

Most Americans Think Our Morals Are Going To Hell

By Millie Dent

Ask anyone about the state of moral values in the U.S. and you’re likely to get a response along the lines of, “we’re going to hell.”

Most Americans — 72 percent — are convinced that moral values in the U.S. are decaying, according to a new Gallup poll, and most people believe the current state of moral values isn’t all that great to begin with. Nearly half of those polled, 45 percent, called the state of moral values in the U.S. “poor,” while 34 percent said they are “only fair.”

Just 19 percent rated American morals as either “excellent” or “good,” and only 22 percent say the state of moral values is getting better.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, social conservatives have consistently been most likely to tell pollsters that the nation’s moral values are deteriorating, but the latest Gallup findings showed an uptick from 2014 to 2015 among social moderates and social liberals who believe moral values are regressing.

Related: How U.S. Morals Stack Up Against the World

Gallup also found that Americans’ views of the moral acceptability of a number of key issues has been shifting to the left since 2001. The largest shift was on gay or lesbian relations, with a 23 percentage point increase in the share of people who say that behavior is morally acceptable. The change coincides with a sharp increase in support for same-sex marriage. 

Sex between unmarried people has also become more acceptable, as has having babies outside of marriage. Polygamy and divorce are also now acceptable to a greater portion of the population than in 2001. On the other hand, the views of married men and women having an affair haven’t changed much, with just 8 percent of Americans saying it’s morally tolerable.

However, respondents to the poll about the current and future state of moral values weren’t necessarily responding with those charged social and political issues in mind. In many cases, Gallup suggests, their views of the moral direction of the country were rooted in something much more basic: “That is, their views have less to do with greater acceptance of same-sex marriage or having babies out of wedlock and other hot-button issues, and more to do with matters of basic civility and respect for each other,” Gallup’s Justin McCarthy wrote.

Clearly, the Golden Rule is still the bedrock of our moral code: Love thy neighbor as thyself.

Increasing Number of Americans Delay Medical Care Due to Cost: Gallup

By The Fiscal Times Staff

From Gallup: “A record 25% of Americans say they or a family member put off treatment for a serious medical condition in the past year because of the cost, up from 19% a year ago and the highest in Gallup's trend. Another 8% said they or a family member put off treatment for a less serious condition, bringing the total percentage of households delaying care due to costs to 33%, tying the high from 2014.”

Number of the Day: $213 Million

A security camera hangs near a corner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington
Jonathan Ernst
By The Fiscal Times Staff

That’s how much the private debt collection program at the IRS collected in the 2019 fiscal year. In the black for the second year in a row, the program cleared nearly $148 million after commissions and administrative costs.

The controversial program, which empowers private firms to go after delinquent taxpayers, began in 2004 and ran for five years before the IRS ended it following a review. It was restarted in 2015 and ran at a loss for the next two years.

Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who played a central role in establishing the program, said Monday that the net proceeds are currently being used to hire 200 special compliance personnel at the IRS.

US Deficit Up 12% to $342 Billion for First Two Months of Fiscal 2020: CBO

District of Columbia
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The federal budget deficit for October and November was $342 billion, up $36 billion or 12% from the same period last year, the Congressional Budget Office estimated on Monday. Revenues were up 3% while outlays rose by 6%, CBO said.

Hospitals Sue to Protect Secret Prices

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times
By The Fiscal Times Staff

As expected, groups representing hospitals sued the Trump administration Wednesday to stop a new regulation would require them to make public the prices for services they negotiate with insurers. Claiming the rule “is unlawful, several times over,” the industry groups, which include the American Hospital Association, say the rule violates their First Amendment rights, among other issues.

"The burden of compliance with the rule is enormous, and way out of line with any projected benefits associated with the rule," the suit says. In response, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said that hospitals “should be ashamed that they aren’t willing to provide American patients the cost of a service before they purchase it.”

See the lawsuit here, or read more at The New York Times.

A Decline in Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment

Dr. Benjamin Hoffman speaks with Nancy Minoui about 9 month old Marion Burgess, who suffers from a chronic heart condition, at an appointment at the Dornbecher Children's hospital in Portland
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Between December 2017 and July 2019, enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) fell by 1.9 million, or 2.6%. The Kaiser Family Foundation provided an analysis of that drop Monday, saying that while some of it was likely caused by enrollees finding jobs that offer private insurance, a significant portion is related to enrollees losing health insurance of any kind. “Experiences in some states suggest that some eligible people may be losing coverage due to barriers maintaining coverage associated with renewal processes and periodic eligibility checks,” Kaiser said.