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8 out of 10 Americans agree

February 7th, 2013 · No Comments · Blog

In this era of partisan bickering, there are few things most Americans agree about. According to a new poll by the National Academy of Social Insurance, protecting Social Security is one of them. NASI released the results last Friday.

Among its findings:

  • 74% of Republicans and 88% of Democrats say it is important to protect Social Security even if it means paying higher Social Security taxes.

The most favored package of changes, preferred by 70% of people surveyed:

  • Gradually, over 10 years, eliminate the cap on earnings taxed for Social Security. This would mean that the 5% of workers who earn more than the cap would pay into Social Security all year, as other workers do.
  • Gradually, over 20 years, raise the Social Security tax that workers and employers each pay from 6.2% of earnings to 7.2%. The increase would be so gradual that someone earning $50,000 a year would pay about 50 cents a week more each year, with the employer’s share increasing by the same amount.
  • Increase the COLA to more accurately reflect the inflation actually experienced by seniors, who typically pay more out-of-pocket for medical care than other Americans.
  • Raise Social Security’s minimum benefit so that a worker who pays into Social Security for 30 years can retire at 62 or later with benefits above the federal poverty line ($10,788 in 2011). Currently, lifetime low-wage workers are at risk of falling into poverty in their old age, even after paying Social Security taxes throughout their working lives.

Notice the preferred package contains NO BENEFIT CUTS and instead raised Social Security taxes AND the minimum benefit. These poll results seem pretty inconsistent with what we hear coming out of Washington, don’t they?

Hopefully Members of Congress and the President will read the results of this poll and finally start seeing Social Security the way the American public does: as a vital program the American people don’t want to see any cuts made to and are willing to pay more for to protect.

Lisa Ekman, Federal Policy Director, Health & Disability Advocates

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