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Tradeoffs Many Would Make to Expand Social Security

Photo: A new survey finds broad support across party lines by American age 21 and older for the value of Social Security, even when it comes to paying a little more to expand benefits. Photo credit: AARP
Photo: A new survey finds broad support across party lines by American age 21 and older for the value of Social Security, even when it comes to paying a little more to expand benefits. Photo credit: AARP
October 30, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. - A new survey finds broad support across party lines and age generations for the value of Social Security, even when it comes to paying a little more to expand benefits.

The survey of Americans 21 and older finds three out of four value Social Security, with 86 percent agreeing the current program does not provide sufficient income for beneficiaries.

Stephen Gorin is executive director of the New Hampshire chapter, National Association of Social Workers and a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, which issued the findings.

"Large numbers of people, including many Republicans who you might not expect, were willing to pay a bit more to ensure Social Security is solvent well beyond the next 75 years," Gorin says.

The study was based on an online survey of more than 2,000 Americans aged 21 and over in June.

Gorin says an August survey of Granite State voters finds similar support.

"Seventy-nine percent of likely 2014 voters said they'd like to see it expanded," says Gorin. "Because as important as Social Security is, the benefits are not luxurious, so many people believe they need to be expanded."

Gorin says the new survey finds more Americans are willing to make tradeoffs such as gradual increase of 1 percent over 20 years on the Social Security tax rate.

"What it breaks down to is for somebody who is earning $50,000 a year; they might wind up paying 50 cents a week more a year, and that would be matched by the employer," he says. "That would go a long way to ensuring the stability of the Social Security Trust Fund."

Gorin says most of those surveyed want to see a package of fixes that would support and expand Social Security for 75 years and beyond.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH