Politics and Public Opinion On Social Security Reform - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Politics and Public Opinion On Social Security Reform

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  1. Politics and Public Opinion On Social Security Reform Social Security University February 21, 2003 The Cato Institute, Washington, D.C. www.socialsecurity.org

  2. There are some in government who advocate changing the Social Security system to give younger workers the choice to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes through individual accounts similar to IRAs or 401(k) plans. Would you...? 80 68.1 70 60 50 40 29.1 30 20 10 0 Total support Total oppose Zogby International, 2002

  3. Support for Private Accounts (Various polling studies, see Appendix A) Zogby International, 2002

  4. The Winston Group: November 6-7, 2002

  5. CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll: November, 2002 “A proposal has been made that would allow people to put a portion of their Social Security payroll taxes into personal retirement accounts that would be invested in private stocks and bonds. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?” 70 57 60 50 40 40 Percent of respondents 30 20 10 3 0 Favor Oppose No opinion

  6. Andres McKenna research: The “American Survey” January 6-7, 2003 Republicans in Congress will… 60 49 50 40 32 Percentage of respondents 30 20 12 10 0 Bring too little change to Social Security Bring the right amount of change to Social Security Bring too much change to Social Security

  7. Los Angeles Times Poll: Jan. 30—Feb. 2, 2003“Do you approve or disapprove of George W. Bush’s proposal to allow individuals to divert part of their Social Security payroll taxes into private accounts which they could personally invest in the stock market for their retirement?” 80 Approve 73 Disapprove 70 Don't know 58 60 54 52 50 42 Percentage of respondents 40 37 40 30 20 20 7 10 6 6 5 0 All % Democrats % Independents % Republicans %

  8. There are some in government who advocate changing the Social Security system to give younger workers the choice to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes through individual accounts similar to IRAs or 401(k) plans. Would you...? 80 68.1 70 60 50 40 29.1 30 20 10 0 Total support Total oppose Zogby International, 2002

  9. Zogby International, 2002

  10. Zogby International, 2002

  11. Which of these is the most important reason you support individual accounts? 45 38.8 40 35 30 25.7 25 Percentage of respondents 20 15.6 14.4 15 10 4.2 5 0 Higher People should Money could be I control money Other retirement be allowed to passed on in my account benefits invest privately Zogby International, 2002

  12. Zogby International, 2002

  13. With which statement do you most agree?A: Allowing workers the right to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes would be too risky because individuals might lose money if the market performs poorlyB: The current system is more risky because the government cannot pay all the benefits that it has promised. 100 90 80 70 60 Percent of respondents 50 44.6 43.7 40 30 20 10 0 Personal accounts more risky Current system more risky Zogby International, 2002

  14. If Social Security taxes are invested in stocks, bonds and money market funds, who should do the investing? 70 62.0 60 50 40 Percent of respondents 30 22.4 20 10 0 Government should invest through a Individual workers should invest in private central fund accounts Zogby International, 2002

  15. With which statement do you most agree? A: The Enron scandal shows the dangers of the stock market and why we must maintain Social Security as it is and not allow individuals to invest their payroll taxes in personal retirement accountsB: The Enron scandal proves that people need more choice and more control over their retirement savings, including allowing workers the option to invest part of their Social Security taxes in a personal retirement account 70.0 63.6 60.0 50.0 40.0 Percentage of respondents 29.0 30.0 20.0 10.0 0.0 A B Zogby International, 2002

  16. Base question Zogby International, 2002

  17. Does knowing this make you more or less likely to support the plan to privatize Social Security?* Younger workers who invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in individual accounts will have to give up a portion of their benefits under the current system. Support conditions 14.4 4.0 The Supreme Court has ruled that you have no rights to Social Security. In other words, Congress is free to change or eliminate your benefits at any time. 1.7 3.6 While plan will cost more in short run, it will restore long-run solvency, increase benefits for low-income widows and improve safety net for old age poverty. 23.0 1.0 There will be no reduction in benefits for those who stay with the current system. 8.6 0.6 10.0 5.0 0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 Percentage of those somewhat/strongly opposed to accounts in base question shifting to more favorable position.* Percentage of those somewhat/strongly in favor of accounts in base Zogby International, 2002 question shifting to less favorable position.*

  18. Support Conditions A candidate for congress says he wants to give taxpayers ownership and control over their retirement money. Does this candidate’s position make you more or less likely to vote for this candidate? 9.7 4.0 A candidate for Congress claims there is no problem with Social Security. Does this candidates position make you more or less likely to vote for this candidate? 3.0 35.6 A candidate for Congress acknowledges problems with Social Security, but has no plans to fix it. Does this candidate’s position make you more or less likely to vote for this candidate? 3.3 39.0 10 0 10 20 30 40 50 Percentage of those somewhat/strongly opposed to accounts in base question shifting to more favorable position.* Percentage of those somewhat/strongly in favor of accounts in base question shifting to less favorable position.* Zogby International, 2002