A new poll reveals that most Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, age, gender, or education level, are strongly opposed to Republican proposals to cut Social Security benefits for future retirees.
The poll, conducted by Data for Progress, a progressive think tank, showed that 82% of all likely voters somewhat or strongly oppose policies that would mean “Americans currently under 50 would receive fewer Social Security benefits when they retire than those who receive Social Security benefits today.”
The opposition was consistent across party lines: 84% of Democrats, 83% of Republicans, and 80% of Independents or third-party voters. The figures were also roughly the same regardless of age, gender, and education level.
The poll also found that 72% of respondents—including 76% of Democrats, 66% of Republicans, and 72% of Independents or third-party voters—are “less likely to vote for a candidate who supported cutting future Social Security benefits for Americans currently under 50.”
“Voters would rather see taxes on wealthy Americans to ensure Social Security remains a guarantee for all,” said Sean McElwee, co-founder and executive director of Data for Progress.
The poll results echo a similar survey by AARP, which found that 85% of Americans age 50 and older oppose cutting Social Security or Medicare benefits to reduce the federal deficit. The AARP survey also found that 87% of Americans age 50 and older view the federal deficit as a big problem, but they prefer other solutions than cutting vital programs.
“Older Americans overwhelmingly oppose cutting Social Security and Medicare to reduce the deficit. Proposals like the TRUST Act would give a handful of lawmakers the power to propose cuts behind closed doors with fast-track legislative consideration with minimum transparency and oversight from voters,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer.
The TRUST Act is a bill that would create a 12-member committee that could fast-track cuts targeting Social Security and Medicare. AARP and other advocacy groups have urged Americans to make their voices heard in support of Social Security and Medicare and oppose the TRUST Act.
Social Security and Medicare are especially important for millions of older Americans who rely on them for income and health care coverage. According to AARP research, nearly half (49%) of all Social Security recipients over age 65 rely on the program’s benefits for at least half their income. And about a quarter of Social Security beneficiaries over age 65 live in families that rely on Social Security for at least 90% of their income.
“Social Security and Medicare were particularly important during the coronavirus pandemic, with the former being a stable source of income for more than 34 million older households and the latter providing critical health care coverage to more than 62 million enrollees,” according to AARP research.
The Republican push to cut Social Security benefits is not new. Back in January 2020, then-President Donald Trump—who is currently the front-runner for the GOP’s 2024 nomination, despite his various legal issues and the argument that he is constitutionally disqualified from holding office again— said that programs like Social Security are “the easiest of all things” to cut.
Three of Trump’s Republican 2024 opponents—Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, ex-Vice President Mike Pence, and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley—are now publicly pushing for changes to the program that would affect younger people. Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have also set their sights on the program and are currently fighting for funding cuts to the Social Security Administration that would “devastate the agency’s ability to serve the American public.”
Meanwhile, some Democrats have also shown signs of wavering on protecting Social Security benefits. “Meanwhile, the president’s support appears to have tempered opposition to Social Security cuts within the Democratic Caucus. A work-in-progress whip count from Social Security Works so far counts a dozen Democrats in the Senate and 46 in the House whose statements suggest they would oppose any deal including chained CPI,” according to USA Politics NEWS.
Chained CPI is a measure of inflation that would result in lower annual cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security beneficiaries.
The Data for Progress poll was conducted among 1,016 likely voters from July 30 to July 31. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The AARP survey was conducted among 1,016 adults ages 50 and older from April 22 through April 26. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.33 percentage points.
– 82% of Voters Oppose GOP Push to Cut Social Security for Americans Under 50: Poll, Common Dreams, Aug 02, 2023
– Older Americans Oppose Cuts to Social Security, Medicare, AARP, May 26, 2021
– AARP Survey: Overwhelming Bipartisan Majority Opposes Social Security and Medicare Cuts to Reduce Deficit, AARP, May 26, 2021
– Are Republicans Trying To Cut Social Security, USA Politics NEWS, Sep 11, 2021