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Saturday, November 11, 2006

AARP Survey: Public Strongly Opposes Social Security Private Accounts

Based on the article “New AARP Survey Shows Public Strongly Opposes Social Security Private Accounts” on (website edited by William Hoehne and Joyce Chow)

Edited (with Introduction) by Dr. Don Rose


A recent survey by AARP, the organization devoted to seniors over 50, indicates that a majority of boomer voters and politicians alike seem to dislike using Social Security taxes to fund private accounts. More details on the survey results below. –D.R.


A recent AARP survey finds that “boomer-plus” voters (age 42 and older) are strongly opposed to using Social Security taxes to fund private accounts. Of those polled, 72 percent said they oppose private accounts. Just 16 percent of those polled said they support such accounts.

An analysis of candidate responses to the 2006 AARP Voters' Guides in 45 competitive Senate and House races reflects that candidates are hearing the public's rejection of private accounts. AARP's 2006 Voters' Guides asked candidates whether they "support or oppose using Social Security taxes to fund private accounts." Out of 20 Senate candidates in some of the closest races in which Guides were available, 14 (70 percent) checked the box in opposition; only one (5 percent) expressed support, while 5 (25 percent) did not give an answer. Similarly, in 35 competitive House races, 60 percent of the candidates checked the box in opposition; only 3 percent expressed support, while 37 percent did not respond.

The guides also asked candidates whether they will "support or oppose a balanced Social Security plan to continue the program's guaranteed benefits for future generations." Of the 20 Senate candidates, 15 (75 percent) checked the box in support, one (5 percent) opposed and 20 percent did not respond. For the House races, 63 percent of the candidates supported a balanced plan, only 1 percent opposed, and the remaining candidates did not respond.

"It is clear from the responses to our Voters' Guides that an overwhelming majority of candidates oppose private accounts and support a balanced Social Security plan to continue this critical program for future generations," said AARP Director of Government Relations David Sloane. "These candidates have committed to strengthening and preserving Social Security, and voters will expect that they follow through on their promises."

The Election Watch survey was commissioned as a national telephone survey of 1,503 individuals age 42 and older. AARP wanted to take the pulse of the public's opinion on issues that members have indicated they want to hear about in the public discourse. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.

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Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles on computers, the Internet, AI, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.

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