Social Security rally

Demonstrators protest GOP attempts to cut Social Security on February 24, 2023 in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

(Photo: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for MoveOn)

82% of Voters Oppose GOP Push to Cut Social Security for Americans Under 50: Poll

"Voters would rather see taxes on wealthy Americans to ensure Social Security remains a guarantee for all," said the head of Data for Progress.

The vast majority of U.S. voters across the political spectrum don't support Republican proposals to gut Social Security benefits for Americans under age 50, according to polling results published Tuesday by the progressive think tank Data for Progress.

The survey, conducted Friday and Saturday, showed that 82% of all likely voters somewhat or strongly oppose policies that would mean "Americans currently under 50 would receive fewer Social Security benefits when they retire than those who receive Social Security benefits today."

Opposition was relatively consistent across parties: 84% of Democrats, 83% of Republicans, and 80% of Independents or third-party voters. The figures were also roughly the same regardless of age, gender, and education level.

Data for Progress further found that 72% of respondents—including 76% of Democrats, 66% of Republicans, and 72% of Independents or third-party voters—are "less likely to vote for a candidate who supported cutting future Social Security benefits for Americans currently under 50."

Back in January 2020, then-President Donald Trump—who is currently the front-runner for the GOP's 2024 nomination, despite his various legal issues and the argument that he is constitutionally disqualified from holding office again—said that programs like Social Security are "the easiest of all things" to cut.

Three of Trump's Republican 2024 opponents—Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, ex-Vice President Mike Pence, and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley—are now publicly pushing for changes to the program that would affect younger people.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have also set their sights on the program and are currently fighting for funding cuts to the Social Security Administration that Julie Tippens, legislative director of the American Federation of Government Employees, recently warned would "devastate the agency's ability to serve the American public."

Earlier this year, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced plans to establish a "commission" to examine ways to cut Social Security, and the 175-member Republican Study Committee proposed raising the program's full retirement age to 69.

As Data for Progress press secretary Abby Spring wrote in a Tuesday blog post:

Republicans have argued that these proposed Social Security cuts are necessary to ensure that Social Security remains financially solvent—meaning the program would have enough funds to fully pay out beneficiaries—without affecting seniors currently receiving Social Security benefits.

However, other proposals, such as the Social Security Expansion Act or Social Security 2100, could extend the solvency of Social Security while increasing benefits for current and new recipients. These plans would be paid for by increasing taxes on wealthy Americans.

The think tank's poll also revealed widespread support for using tax hikes targeting the wealthy to sustain Social Security. Specifically, such policies were backed by 77% of everyone surveyed, including 83% of Democrats, 63% of Republicans, and 76% of Independents or third-party voters

"When it comes to Social Security, candidates in the Republican Party are seemingly competing over who can offer the least popular proposals," said Data for Progress executive director Danielle Deiseroth. "No one—not even Republican voters—wants cuts to Social Security benefits for Americans under 50. Instead, voters would rather see taxes on wealthy Americans to ensure Social Security remains a guarantee for all."

Democratic President Joe Biden, who is seeking reelection, "proposed increasing taxes on the rich and businesses to prevent Medicare from running out of funds. But the latest White House budget does not propose a solution for extending Social Security," The Washington Postnoted last month. "Numerous congressional Democrats have called for trillions in new taxes to avoid the Social Security shortfall, as well."

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