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  • Americans Prefer Social Security Upper Income Benefit Reductions to Tax Hikes

    The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein has used a new Gallup poll showing that 77% of Americans believe “the cost of the government’s major entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare, will create major economic problems for the U.S. in the next 25 years” to produce the following headline:

    Americans prefer tax increases to benefit cuts.

    Problem is, that just is not the choice respondents were given. Here are the actual top line questions produced by Gallup:

    If the cost of major entitlement programs does create major economic problems for the U.S., do you think the
    government should or should not do each of the following to deal with the situation? How about –
    [RANDOM ORDER]?
    A. Raise taxes 42% Yes, should – 56% No, should not
    B. Cut benefits 32% yes, Should – 66% No, should not

    The first thing to notice is that more than 100% of respondents said no to both items. This shows that respondents were not offered an opportunity to prefer one option over the other as Klein’s headline implies.

    But more importantly “cut benefits” is a very blunt question that misses many ways Congress could cut Social Security spending. For example, Congress could “limit benefits for wealthy retirees.” And when Gallup asked Americans if they supported that policy back in July of this year, 63% of Americans said they would support those spending cuts. On the contrary, 64% of Americans thought it was a bad idea to increase Social Security taxes for all workers.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Americans Prefer Social Security Upper Income Benefit Reductions to Tax Hikes

    1. Pingback: Taking The Passive Income Opportunity Or A Residual Income Opportunity: The Same or Different? | Ultimate Money Opp

    2. Terry Monei, Prince says:

      You forgot the most important varriable that blends in to the two you offered. The ration is the random varriable. The 3rd one is cut all levels of government spending i.e. personnel costs which are probably hovering around 50% (including retirement benefits other than mandated federal, state and local programs. The 3 must be blended if we are to get out of debt!

    3. Mary Schmidt says:

      The truth is: It's impossible to find a job right now, especially in L.A.

      I see a lot of people doing nothing, and it's hard to watch. I don't

      want to be unjustly judged for not working. I see a lot of people with a lot

      of money also doing nothing to help out the economy, period. I hate to

      say it, but even our present Governor is doing nothing. I have a lot of skills

      and talents, and they are going to waste. Read my my space blogs, and

      see that I at least have a creative mind. If I can't get a job at a fast food

      place because I'm white, than I will get a job using my creativity, but

      I'm not going to be stuck in a job I can't stand… Nobody should endure that.

      Mary Schmidt-

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