Today’s WONKBLOG has a great bit of reporting on a new survey from a group called the National Academy of Social Insurance, which conducted a survey of Americans and found that most Americans want to fix the long-term shortfall by raising the cap on contributions and they want to increase the benefits. Shockingly, Americans come to this conclusion once they learn (via this survey) that Social Security is not in immediate crisis. Which it isn’t.
The survey found that most major benefit cuts — including chained CPI, means testing and raising the full retirement age to 70 — strongly decreased respondents’ likelihood of supporting a deal. By contrast, revenue-raisers, such as increasing the payroll tax rate or eliminating the cap, elicited strong support and made respondents significantly more likely to support a deal. More mild measures, like raising the payroll tax cap to include 90 percent of wages, and raising the retirement age to 68, elicited mild support. The only benefit changes that people really liked were benefit increases. The following chart shows what the raw numbers looked like.
Interesting, yes? But for those of us who have been following the Social Security numbers and issues, this isn’t much of a surprise. The crisis is largely a manufactured one by DC and Wall Street interests whose views are apparently the only ones who count here. (Yep, I’m lookin’ at you, John Carney and Tom Carper.) The crisis narrative has been the only one you hear — in spite of clear evidence to the contrary that comes from the yearly Social Security Actuaries’ report. But the NASI survey looks at this narrative too:
Which is why we need to constantly remind folks that the people who keep claiming that Social Security is in crisis are not telling you the truth.
Tags: Social Security