Skip to comments.AARP Poll: Appeal of Social Security Private Accounts Drops When Consequences Known
Posted on 01/31/2005 4:04:36 PM PST by qam1
Flora Asa of Dowell and her late husband worked all their lives--she in the nursing profession, he at the Majestic Mine east of Du Quoin. As President Bush pushes to hand part of America's retirement system over to Wall Street, here's Mrs. Asa's response: "Stop flirting with our money and keep your hands off."
If given a choice, three in five Americans would strengthen Social Security with as few changes as possible, according to a poll conducted by AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). The poll also found that the more Americans learn about diverting Social Security taxes into private investment accounts, the less they like the idea.
Two-thirds (66%) of Americans age 30 and above support keeping Social Security as is, including 6 in 10 (62%) Gen Xers ages 30-39. A similar number of leading edge boomers ages 50-59 (65%) and a clear majority (57%) of boomers ages 40-49 agreed.
"A majority of Americans, even younger adults, would like to see Social Security continued substantially as it is today," said AARP CEO Bill Novelli.
Mrs. Asa goes onto say, "I don't see anything--any reason--to change it because once they change it, they'll want to change it again and there won't be anything left. That's my version."
"If they don't raise it (benefits), they just need to leave it alone," she said.
She continues, "I don't believe in having the people from places like Mexico come here and get a (social security) card and do their thing when they haven't paid into anything," she said. "The government just keeps borrowing and borrowing and putting it in different places. We won't have anything one of these days," she said.
Thelma Pettiford of Du Quoin is 84 years old and remembers when you could collect full social security at 62 or at 55 if you were handicapped. "I don't think we need to change either. Keep it the way it is," she said. "I receive it, so do my sister and two brothers and we need to leave it alone," she said, partially dependent upon the retirement income. Another retiree, Hilda Higgerson, also agreed.
"Social Security does need to be strengthened and people accept that fact. On one hand, the public has been told to have doubts about their Social Security benefits. On the other hand, they expect the government to deliver on its obligation to honor those benefits." Novelli added.
According to the AARP, more than two-thirds of people under age 50 are not confident that Social Security will be there for them, the poll indicates. But a strong majority of all those polled (83%), agreed that Social Security should be strengthened rather than replaced, and that private accounts would hurt Social Security (60%).
"Most people who are not retired or close to retirement know little about Social Security," said Novelli. "A political undercurrent of uncertainty contributes to support for investing a portion of their Social Security taxes in the stock market. But support falls away the more people learn about private accounts and how they might work," he concluded.
After initial supporters had been exposed to all of the consequences of diverting payroll taxes to fund private accounts, only 10% still favored them. This means, in the context of the entire survey sample, that only 5% favored this approach once the consequences were evident.
The survey found that 43% initially supported the concept of diverting payroll contributions to fund private accounts. But barely a quarter continued to support private accounts if it meant a lower Social Security benefit in retirement. The $1 trillion in additional debt in order to pay Social Security benefits to current beneficiaries reduced support to less than a fifth (18%) of respondents. Leaving responsibility for this debt and for Social Security's current shortfall to our children reduced support even more, to 17%.
"A lack of knowledge about private accounts is a dangerous thing," explained Novelli. When people are exposed to the full details of private accounts, support falls to only 5 percent."
The telephone poll of 1,500 adults aged 30 and over was conducted for AARP by Roper Public Affairs the end of December. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.
You don't suppose that AARP, while conducting this poll, negelected to mention that the trust fund is an accounting fiction, do you?
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
AARP is technically a charity. It should not be.
I don't believe that there is any way that a poll like this can be conducted in a fair manner. Social security is not an easy issue to understand. You have to have a basic understanding of accounting and economics. Most people don't, which is why this issue is so easy to demogogue.
Somebody should tell Mrs Asa that the government can change Social Security anytime it wants, but if she had her own retirement account the government couldn't touch it at all.
That's the problem with a government control retirement plan.
I'm sorry, we are supposed to trust the AARP in this why?
I want my SS dollars to do with what I want. SS is a socialist democrats lie that has been perpetrated for over sixty years. It is a sham program that puts people in poverty and sucks capital out of the economy. For anyone to think that SS is a viable program is completely ignorant of its past, present, and future.
Thanks for the ping.
I'd like to know the specific questions they asked in this survey, and the exact phrasing. My guess is that it was a steaming pile. A lot of "If x were to happen, with y as a result, would you support changing SS benefits..." or something along those lines.
The AARP stays in business by scaring old people.
What if the question was phrased this way:
Would you support volunatary private accounts, which are estimate to give anywhere between 2-4% a year, or not have this option and continue to make 0-1% in the government sponsored accounts?
I don't think the above poll question is at all biased or untrue. But AARP won't dare ask it.
Ok, here's the gist of SS. We are giving our hard earned money to an entity that is saying it will be wisely invested and safeguarded for our future. And, here is the track record of that entity. Since the implementation of SS it has gone over 5 trillion dollars in debt. It has unethically and possibly illegally diverted billions of dollars from SS in sham loans to the budget. It has put the burden of financing the retirement of millions of people on the next two or three generations after. And we think this program needs to be STRENGTHENED? B.S. this program needs to be scrapped quicker than I can say. "go away IRS."
I think I am going to be a bit sick thinking about how my money is being mishandled by our bloated, fiscally irresponsible legislature.
Or, perhaps this question:
Would you prefer that the government continue to spend the amount you currently pay into the Social Security surplus, or would you rather have that money in your own private investment account where the government cannot spend it?
I have little doubt it was a push poll. You can tell just by the way in the title they use the words "Consequences are known" they were definitely skewing the questions.
A majority of senior citizens, who are most easily taken in by frauds and scams, support the federal government's Ponzi scheme, otherwise known as Social Security
I'm one old person who dropped my membership in AARP 10 years ago.
I think the problem with most young Americans(not all) is that they don't know how to save. It's the folks that can't save that want SS kept the way it is.
God forbid they would have to give up a luxury,small or large,to save for their future.
Add to that, if given a choice, would you, upon your death, prefer that your family inherits nothing or that they inherit the balance of your private account?
Which part of voluntary private accounts do these people not understand?
TAKE TIME TO SEE YOUR RATE OF RETURN
Social Security Calculator ( Try It and See for Yourself!)
WERE YOU COUNTING ON SOCIAL SECURITY? Simply enter your age and gender to calculate what an American worker of your same age and gender could expect to receive from Social Security.
By providing additional data, such as ZIP Code, earnings, and other information, you'll be able to generate a more detailed estimate.
Your RATE OF RETURN
|WERE YOU COUNTING ON SOCIAL SECURITY?
Simply enter your age and gender to calculate what an American worker of your same age and gender could expect to receive from Social Security.
By providing additional data, such as ZIP Code, earnings, and other information, you'll be able to generate a more detailed estimate,
(See Privacy Statement.)
|Social Security Calculator
2005 © The Heritage Foundation
Your Estimate. Calculating a workers rate of return for Social Security requires three key pieces of information about that worker: annual gross income, expected Social Security Benefits which are calculated based on earnings), and life expectancy (which estimates how long the worker will pay taxes and/or collect benefits).
The rate of return for todays Social Security is calculated by comparing the amount of taxes paid by the worker with the benefits that he or she could expect to collect. The rate of return for Personal Retirement Account (PRA) compares Social Security taxes paid by the worker with value of their accumulated PRA at their age of retirement. Finally, rates of return for monthly annuities are calculated by comparing taxes paid with the benefits received from the annuity. http://www.heritage.org/research/features/socialsecurity/Glossary/estimate.html
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.