Saturday, December 27, 2014
Public Overwhelmingly Supports Raising S.S. benefits
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Bernie On Social Security":
Ted - thank you for your amazing blog. To me it is absolutely unbelievable that Senator Sanders is considered a radical. Certainly a majority of Americans believe in taking care of our senior citizens???? Perhaps you can find a poll that shows Americans support expanding Social Security...
The above comment was made on one of my posts. I didn't publish it because I don't allow anonymous comments on this blog. But I thought his/her request was a reasonable one, so I went looking for evidence that there is support for expanding Social Security (i.e., raising benefits). And what I found makes me (and should make anonymous) very happy. It seems that the American public doesn't just support raising benefits -- they overwhelmingly support it.
The charts below were made from a survey Lake Research Partners did between August 17th and 21st of this year of a random national sample of 1,035 likely voters (with a 3.1 point margin of error). The first chart shows the results of the national survey, and the bottom chart shows the results in a few representative states. All the polls can be accessed at socialsecurityworks.org.
Note that nearly four out of five people (79%) support raising Social Security benefits, and that is true regardless of political persuasion. Even 73% of Republicans support that (and 47% of them support it very strongly). Note also that it doesn't seem to matter what kind of state it is (red/blue, North/South, East/West, big/small), that overwhelming support exists in all of them.
I still expect congressional Republicans will try to cut Social Security benefits in the next couple of years. They know that raising benefits (or even letting them stay the same) would require raising or eliminating the cap on income subject to a FICA tax. That would mean the rich would have to pay the same percentage in payroll taxes that all other Americans currently pay -- and no congressional Republican wants to do that. They really don't care what ordinary Americans want (even those in their own base), but only what will make the rich happy (because it is the rich that donate the bulk of GOP campaign funds).
They need to be aware though that most Americans would be very angry of Social Security benefits are cut. They want to see them raised.