Friday, October 10, 2008

New polling data on Social Security personal accounts has the results of some new polling on public approval of adding personal accounts to social security. As of early October, according to a CNN poll, 36 percent of adults favored adding personal accounts while 62 percent were opposed. That doesn't surprise me very much, given what's happened in the markets over the past year.

What did surprise me was the CNN finding from June of this year, which I had not previously seen. At that time, support was effectively evenly split, with 47 percent in favor and 48 percent opposed. Given that many on the left like to say that the public had soundly rejected the idea of accounts in 2005, the results from last June were surprising.

That said, given the stock market crash and other issues such as transition costs, the chances of any form of "carve out" account financed from the existing payroll tax seem very small. The next fight may be over how to handle additional contributions to Social Security. Democrats will tend to want tax increases paid to the current program, while Republicans will likely favor the option putting any additional Social Security taxes into "add on" accounts. Once the markets have stabilized, that will be a very interesting contrast.


CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. Oct. 3-5, 2008. N=1,006 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.


"As you may know, a proposal has been made that would allow workers to invest part of their Social Security taxes in the stock market or in bonds, while the rest of those taxes would remain in the Social Security system. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?"































No comments: