Tuesday, April 07, 2009

NCPSSm poll and Social Security

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) has conducted a new poll on Social Security. The problem with polls is that they do not always cover all the possible views of those being polled. For example the questions the NCPSSM asked were;

1. Which of these statements do you think best describes the Social Security system?It is in a state of crisis

  • It has major problems
  • It has minor problems
  • It does not have any problems
  • Don't know or refused
2. In which direction do you think the Obama administration will move on Social Security? Do you expect them to:
  • Don't know or refused
  • Increase, or at least maintain, current benefits.
  • Push for limited reductions in benefits.
  • Push for substantial changes in eligibility and reductions in benefits
3. Which of these four ways to insure the future of Social Security would you be most in favor of?
  • Don't know or refused
  • Raise the earnings cap on wages subject to payroll taxes
  • Expand funding sources to include federal income and estate taxes
  • Raise the retirement age
  • Reduce benefits for future retirees
Clearly the questions were biased towards saving the program and current beneficiaries. They present only four ways to insure the future of SS. I can think of several more ways.
  • Cut benefits for current beneficiaries
  • Eliminate COLA
  • Raise the tax on SS benefits
  • Change current benefits to those based on the actual taxes paid, not wage earned.
What also makes the survey terrible is they only asked those age 45 and over. In essence this organization does not care what those under 45, who are more numerious than those over 45 had to say on this important issue. How would you have answered the questions or what questions would you have asked?

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