There appears to be some growing consensus among some of the political elite that there should be major regressive changes to Social Security, like cutting back on benefits and/or raising the retirement age. Building on this consensus, Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) are expected to release legislation soon that would involve raising the retirement age to 69. Yet a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) finds that one group that does not support these regressive cuts is the American people themselves. The PPP poll found that 77 percent of Americans would rather “pay Social Security taxes on salaries above $106,800,” essentially lifting the income tax cap, instead of seeing their “benefits cut and the retirement age increased to age 69.” Surprisingly, however, even 67 percent of self-identified Tea Partiers said they would rather raise the tax cap than cuts benefits and hike the retirement age:
Currently, workers pay social security payroll taxes on up to $106,800 of their salary. To ensure the long-term viability of Social Security, would you rather have people pay social security taxes on salaries above $106,800, or would you rather see benefits cut and the retirement age increased to age 69?
Raise payroll cap Cut benefits
All 77 10
Dem 84 4
GOP 69 17
Ind 77 11
Tea Party 67 20
Those who advocate for raising the Social Security retirement age often claim that they are pursuing “moderate” paths for reform. As this poll and others demonstrate, the course they are choosing is far from centrist.