2009 January 06 Tuesday
Rasmussen Poll Shows Plurality Support Escape From Social Security

More support the right to exit America's government-mandated old age retirement program.

Forty-six percent (46%) of U.S. voters believe working Americans should be allowed to opt out of Social Security to provide for their own retirement planning, an idea not likely to gain much traction with Democrats more strongly in control of Congress.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) are opposed to the idea of opting out, and 16% are not sure in a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

But if younger people were allowed to escape from Social Security there wouldn't be enough money to pay the older people near or in retirement. The pyramid scheme is already showing the stress of a declining ratio of taxpayers to benefits receivers. Letting some of those taxpayers escape would bankrupt the system.

Bizarrely, some of those people who favor letting people escape also favor taxing more of the income of the people who are still in the system. Keep in mind that the average IQ in America is below 100 and most people with IQs above 100 are innumerate anyway. Then these same people say that those who pay more should get more, thereby defeating any benefit of higher taxes for keeping the system solvent.

A majority of voters continue to agree with President-elect Obama’s proposal for workers to pay Social Security taxes on more of the income they earn each year. Sixty percent (60%) say people should pay Social Security taxes on all or most of their annual income. Twenty-nine percent (29%) disagree, and 11% are undecided.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of voters also say people who pay more in Social Security taxes should receive more in retirement benefits when they retire. Twenty-two percent (22%) are against that idea, with 16% undecided.

Of course, one could argue that forcing people to keep the pyramid scheme solvent is immoral. But if that's the case why raise taxes on upper income people in the first place?

How bad will the Medicare and Social Security burden become on workers? Do workers each end up paying on average $500 per week by 2030 to support retirees? Since most workers can't afford that I'm thinking the upper middle class and upper class will pay much more. But opposition will grow much larger. So benefits cuts will limit how big the burden becomes.

The old age retirement entitlements programs depend very heavily on continued strong economic growth to pay most of what has been promised. But if Peak Oil cuts into growth and sends the economies of the industrialized countries into several years of economic contraction then there'll be no escaping the need to raise retirement ages and cut benefits. Taxes alone will cost too much and lower living standards of the still working even more sharply than the economic contraction caused by declining oil production.

America has other demographic problems that promise to cut living standards as a declining percentage of those in their working years possess the intellectual attributes needed to operate a complex modern economy.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 January 06 07:56 PM  Economics Entitlements


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