It’s taken an excruciatingly long time – too long, in fact – but a new poll done for TheHill.com indicates that a majority of the American people are ready for an overhaul of Social Security which includes personal accounts rather than the “trust fund” model it currently uses.
Some 77 percent recognize the program is in trouble. Only 15 percent say it’s not. That, of course, puts 77 percent of the American people at odds with Harry Reid.
“It’s not in crisis,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said recently on NBC’s Meet the Press.
“This is something that’s perpetuated by people who don’t like government. Social Security is fine,” Reid added. “Are there things we can do to improve Social Security? Of course.”
Raising the retirement age isn’t as popular as you might think, though.
Still, a plurality – 48 percent – also believed that the Social Security age should not be raised for people born after 1960, who are currently slated to begin receiving full benefits at age 67. Forty percent favored pushing back the retirement age.
Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to support raising the retirement age, the poll found.
But 53 percent favor personal accounts folks could pay a portion of their Social Security taxes into.
Voters were also split over whether to allow people to invest the Social Security taxes they pay into personal retirement accounts, an idea that was a linchpin of then-President George W. Bush’s plan to reform the program.
Thirty-six percent of likely voters believe diverting payroll taxes to personal accounts should not be permitted at all, while 37 percent backed being able to invest either 25 percent or 50 percent. Sixteen percent supported the ability to invest three-fourths or all of one’s Social Security taxes.
That’s a 53-36 margin. That’s as much of a winner as repealing Obamacare gets.
By a 67-23 margin, the poll found that respondents like the idea of pulling off the cap on Social Security taxes, so that if you make six figures you’ll be taxed on all your income rather than just the first 100K or so.
See the poll’s complete data here.