Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New poll: Dire results if Social Security cuts happen with Dems in power

November 20, 2010
New poll: Dire results if Social Security cuts happen with Dems in power
John Amato

I was being interviewed by Cenk on the Young Turks the other day and we spoke about the Cat Food Commission. I told him that it's unfathomable if any cuts to Social Security benefit cuts happened while a Democratic President was in charge. He agreed completely. It would be devastating to the American population and to the Democratic Party.

mcjoan@Dkos has a post up about a new poll conducted by Lake Research Partners on The Cat Food Commission and Social Security..

Overall, of the 1,200 likely voters surveyed, 82% of respondents oppose Social Security cuts to reduce the deficit, including 83% of Dems, 78% of Independents, 82% of Republicans, and 74% of Tea Party supporters.

The implications for Democrats are serious.

•According to national exit poll data, Democrats lost seniors by historic proportions—21 points—in the November mid-terms. Even in 1994, Democrats only lost seniors by 2 points.

•The survey reveals Democrats no longer have the advantage they traditionally have enjoyed on Social Security. However, candidates who made Social Security an issue often saved their seats, and voters who say Social Security was a top voting issue voted more for Democratic candidates.

•As we have seen in previous work, voters see little relationship between the deficit and Social Security.

•Voters strongly oppose cutting Social Security benefits, even under the rationales of reducing the deficit or making the program more solvent in the long run. They strongly oppose cutting benefits for those earning above $60,000, and they strongly oppose raising the retirement age to 69 years-old. This includes voters of all ages and partisan groups, including Republicans and Tea Party supporters.

•There is also strong bipartisan support for lifting the cap to impose Social Security taxes on all wages above $106,800. Support for this is stronger when both employers and employees are taxed.

...Social Security was a particularly important voting issue for independents who voted for a Democrat in this election, voters aged 65 to 74, and older voters who are women, independent, moderate, white and African American.

Democrats cannot afford to lose these demographic groups. That's the simple political calculus. The policy calculus, is that Democrats cannot betray their moral center and be the party responsible for consigning Americans to an old age of poverty and struggle.

The American people of all political stripes want one thing for certain. Their Social Security and the deficit be damned. If this were to actually take place, no matter how many Alan Simpson gasbags that the administration wheeled out from the right to praise the courage it took to cut Social Security to reduce the federal debt, the right wing noise machine would suddenly pivot and become the party that always believed in it and actually created the program. They would hijack the greatest social program ever created under FDR and the Democratic Party would be in ruins. I'm sick even having to discuss this thought.

Tags: deficit commission, Social Security

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