Economic Crisis Fuels Support for Social Security

Source: Virginia P. Reno and Joni Lavery, National Academy of Social Insurance, August 2009

From the summary:
On the eve of the 74th anniversary of Social Security, nearly nine in ten (88%) Americans say Social Security is more important than ever as a result of today’s economic crisis, and three-quarters of Americans say it is critical to preserve Social Security even if it means that working Americans have to pay higher taxes to do so, according to a poll released today by the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) and the Rockefeller Foundation.

The poll of 1,488 Americans, conducted between July 7-14 by the Benenson Strategy Group, sends a strong message to policymakers about the value that Americans place on Social Security benefits for themselves and the country as a whole – with over 75 percent of Americans saying that Social Security is or will be an important part of their retirement and nearly half of recipients stating that they would be unable to afford food, clothing or housing without it.

With the vast importance that Social Security has in the lives of so many Americans, an overwhelming number – 90 percent – want Congress to act within the next two years to preserve Social Security. Americans are willing to pay for Social Security because they value it for themselves (72%), for their families (75%), and for the security and stability it provides to millions of retired Americans, disabled individuals, and children and widowed spouses of deceased workers (87%).

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