New Survey Shows Strong Support for Social Security and Social Security Disability
Unlike what media analysts and politicians often suggest, a large majority of Americans prefer to increase Social Security taxes to preserve benefits for the elderly and disabled—rather than find necessary future funding for the program through cutbacks in benefits. In a recent survey by the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) (titled “Strengthening Social Security: What Do Americans Want?”), respondents were asked to agree or disagree with a number of statements.
“It is critical to preserve Social Security even if it means increasing Social Security taxes paid by working Americans,” said one statement. Tracked by political party, 88% of Democrats and 74% of Republicans agreed.
Several options were proposed as to exactly how this should be done.
The most popular (meaning, with over 70% support) choices included (1) eliminating the cap on earnings taxed for Social Security (as of now, 5% of the top earners in America are above the current cap—meaning, they pay no Social Security taxes above this level) and (2) ever-so-slightly raising taxes on workers and employers across the board.
Importantly for those receiving benefits by way of disability, a full 84% of respondents stated that they didn’t mind paying more for Social Security because of “the security and stability it provides to…disabled individuals, and children and widowed spouses of deceased workers.”
Additionally, there is sizable support for restoring benefits to children of parents who have died or become disabled. Now, these children receive benefits until they are 18 (or 19, if still in high school). Until 1981, however, children up to the age of 22 qualified for these benefits. And, by a margin of 3 to 1, respondents preferred to restore these benefits in exchange for placing an additional 3% strain on the agency’s budget 75 years out in the future.
The survey included many interesting questions and revealed, with little room to disagree, that Social Security and Social Security Disability are as popular as ever.
The results of the survey can be found here: http://www.nasi.org/research/2013/report-strengthening-social-security-what-do-americans-want.