Monday, February 14, 2011

Hill Poll: 53% Support Private Retirement Accounts

According to a new poll commissioned by The Hill, likely voters are in favor of private accounts by 53%-36%.  But, you wouldn't realize it from the title and narrative of the accompanying article in the Hill.  The title of the article is, "Voters troubled over future of Social Security".  They proceed to discuss how most people are concerned about Social Security solvency, but are split 40-48% on whether to raise the retirement age.  It's not until the end of the article that they mention the fact that the Public Opionion Research poll actually inquired about private retirement accounts.  Here is how they ensconced the majority support for privatization in their results:

Voters were also split over whether to allow people to invest the Social Security taxes they pay into personal retirement accounts, an idea that was a linchpin of then-President George W. Bush’s plan to reform the program.

Thirty-six percent of likely voters believe diverting payroll taxes to personal accounts should not be permitted at all, while 37 percent backed being able to invest either 25 percent or 50 percent. Sixteen percent supported the ability to invest three-fourths or all of one’s Social Security taxes.
Notice how they say that voters are split on the issue instead of decisively stating that a majority support private accounts.  They begin by saying that 36% oppose privatization, while 37% back investment of up to 50%.  However, when you add the additional 16% who support a majority privatization, there is a clear majority who support some sort of privatization.  The Hill declines to tally the numbers and lead off with the headline, "Majority Support Privatization".

Keep in mind that most political consultants believed that this issue is a profound liability to the party.  Most Republicans only call for a small percentage of privatization, and yet, a clear majority support up to 50% privatization.  I hope the Republican strategists are able to read between the lines, even if the media tries to obscure the truth about public sentiment for private property and ownership of one's own retirement.

The reality is that young voters cannot be forced into a confiscatory system which continues to raise the age at which they can receive their money- without offering a way to opt out.  I don't mind raising the retirement age for those who want to continue in the system, but there must be a private option. 

No comments: