Bloomberg poll: Privatizing Medicare and Social Security on the table?

posted at 4:33 pm on October 13, 2010 by Karl

Bloomberg buries the lede in a story about a poll reflecting the already obvious public pessimism about the economy:

Almost three in five say privatization of the Medicare program, with assistance for low-income seniors, should be considered when lawmakers discuss how to close the budget gap. A majority, though, oppose raising the age at which people can start receiving Medicare benefits.

Americans are narrowly against lawmakers considering Social Security privatization as a means to reduce the deficit. Forty-eight percent say that should be off the table versus 44 percent who want the possibility looked at. Almost three in four favor lawmakers studying removal of the Social Security tax cap so wages over $107,000 a year are taxable.

It is no surprise to find a majority in favor of taxing someone else, but the numbers on privatizing Medicare and Social Security are eye-popping. After all, we are only two years past a financial panic that saw the equity in private retirement plans melting significantly on a daily basis. Granted, such numbers could well shift in the face of Democratic demagogy. On the other hand, Bloomberg did not report the partisan breakdown of their sample; the poll’s generic ballot put Democrats ahead 42/40, which seems more than charitable to Dems when compared to the Real Clear Politics average putting the GOP +8.

The immediate implication of these numbers is that the usual, last-ditch, Democratic attacks on GOP candidates over Social Security will likely fail to gain the traction they have in past cycles. Moreover, Rep. Raul Ryan now has more reason to say to his colleagues that “the water’s not so bad” when it comes to considering his Roadmap for America’s Future. And House Speaker hopeful John Boehner will have less of an excuse to avoid having an “adult conversation” about our public debt.

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Comments

The best solution to Social Security is not needing it.

Skandia Recluse on October 13, 2010 at 4:34 PM

The stock market plummets on occasion, but the federal government is bankrupt. People are starting to notice that anything associated with the government might not be so “guaranteed”.

forest on October 13, 2010 at 4:41 PM

The Republicans are taking away your social security and medicare!

VOTE Democrat!

/sarc

Freddy on October 13, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Almost three in four favor lawmakers studying removal of the Social Security tax cap so wages over $107,000 a year are taxable.

Of course they do, because SS was never supposed to be money that you paid into the system and then got out later in life. It was always supposed to be a source of revenue for the federal government, who are so awesomely awesome about spending wisely and within their means!!!/ sarc off

txmomof6 on October 13, 2010 at 4:43 PM

OT, but the good news, is global warming is back…

Snow to hit Britain next week!

lukespapa on October 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

The immediate implication of these numbers is that the usual, last-ditch, Democratic attacks on GOP candidates over Social Security will likely fail to gain the traction they have in past cycles.

Ummmmm, wrong? Hopelessly misjudged, but please keep it up! Indeed, I would LOVE to see Republican Teabags make this a big issue.

bifidis on October 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

If they raise the wage limit for FICA does that mean benefits are to be calculated on wages in full as well. Alex Rodriguez at 25 mill a year might qualify for 250K a month. OTHERWISE THIS CHANGE WOULD BE SIMPLE THEFT.

xkaydet65 on October 13, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Ummmmm, wrong? Hopelessly misjudged, but please keep it up! Indeed, I would LOVE to see Republican Teabags make this a big issue.

bifidis on October 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Hey, it’s a new troll! Welcome!

Also, why are you anti-gay? Do you have an issue with gays? Do you frequently use anti-gay slurs to attack those you disagree with? Do you need a hug?

strictnein on October 13, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Can we get rid of Fannie and Freddie? This foreclosure gate is going to cost us some $$$$.

Oil Can on October 13, 2010 at 4:51 PM

The best solution to Social Security is not needing it.

Skandia Recluse on October 13, 2010 at 4:34 PM

right. So make them stop taking it out of my check and stop paying into it.

upinak on October 13, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Hope? If partially privitizing SS is not popular, how about at least taking it back to it’s original intent and dump the free loaders.

darwin on October 13, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Also make SS voluntary

darwin on October 13, 2010 at 4:56 PM

OTHERWISE THIS CHANGE WOULD BE SIMPLE THEFT.

xkaydet65 on October 13, 2010 at 4:47 PM

No need to be so harsh, redistribution of wealth sounds so much more polite, don’t you think?/ sarc

txmomof6 on October 13, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Ummmmm, wrong? Hopelessly misjudged, but please keep it up! Indeed, I would LOVE to see Republican Teabags make this a big issue.

bifidis on October 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Awww Holder unleashed another one on us. ROFL!

capejasmine on October 13, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Unfortunately, it appears that they didn’t ask if federal salaries, pensions, and benefits should also be ‘on the table’.

Why should pensions for federal workers be more secure than Social Security? Federal workers contributed a pittance into their retirement plans, if anything, and are in line for benefits that rival a UAW package. Seniors overpaid into their Social Security.

slickwillie2001 on October 13, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Maybe people will wake up to the consequences of snuffing out 50 millions lives since 1973…. Speaking strictly in an economic sense.

roflmao

donabernathy on October 13, 2010 at 6:00 PM

That’s the problem, dems, when you import 80 million new Americans to overcome your incompatibility with American values…these new people may not actually value your old ponzi schemes.

joeindc44 on October 13, 2010 at 6:04 PM

Ummmmm, wrong? Hopelessly misjudged, but please keep it up! Indeed, I would LOVE to see Republican Teabags make this a big issue.

bifidis on October 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Wow, such hostility towards homosexuals. Why is it that liberals (maybe that’s painting it a bit broad — so, ok, Democrat shills) are so astonishingly stupid that they don’t see the contradiction inherent in the well-worn “don’t discriminate against gays, you f’n fa990t” position?

mr.blacksheep on October 13, 2010 at 6:06 PM

The American people are inside the OODA loop of their politicians… things will change faster now that people are examining the issue and no longer trust their politicians, government or pundits without evidence to back up their claims.

Expect the unexpected when the ‘third rail’ suddenly loses its power.

ajacksonian on October 13, 2010 at 6:28 PM

Raul Ryan?!? Is he any relation to Paul Ryan?

Mr Michael on October 13, 2010 at 6:47 PM

The best solution to Social Security is not needing it.

Skandia Recluse on October 13, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Whoa, whoa, whoa….. isnt SS some kind “right” in the constitution or something? You cant just take it away!! Besides, The Supreme Court will decide that the money distributed is used for interstate purchases and under the commerce clause the program cant be dissolved.

Koa on October 13, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Almost three in four favor lawmakers studying removal of the Social Security tax cap so wages over $107,000 a year are taxable.

If they raise the wage limit for FICA does that mean benefits are to be calculated on wages in full as well. Alex Rodriguez at 25 mill a year might qualify for 250K a month. OTHERWISE THIS CHANGE WOULD BE SIMPLE THEFT.

xkaydet65 on October 13, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Of course, they will take more money from me without making it up on the back end. My benefits will not go up even if they take more, in fact with means testing almost assured in the future we get screwed on both sides of the equation.

mdenis39 on October 13, 2010 at 10:07 PM

SSI the original insurance mandate that no one talks about. Constitution says taxes are ok, but this is something different than a tax.

PrezHussein on October 13, 2010 at 10:11 PM

The best solution to Social Security is retiring it.

AshleyTKing on October 13, 2010 at 11:39 PM