Social Security: 2 in 3 Americans Oppose Social Security Cuts, Polls Say

By Mimi Li
Mimi Li
Mimi Li
January 26, 2011 Updated: January 26, 2011

[xtypo_dropcap]N[/xtypo_dropcap]early two in every three Americans oppose cuts to Social Security, with Democrats and Republicans nearly united in opposition to cutbacks to the massive entitlement program.

Sixty-four percent of all respondents in two separate recently released polls, one by USA Today/Gallup and the other by the Kaiser Family Foundation jointly with the Harvard School of Public Health, said they opposed cuts to government funding of Social Security.

Only 34 percent of those surveyed in the Gallup Poll were in favor of any cuts to Social Security, a number echoed by the Kaiser/Harvard Poll (35 percent).

Only 8 percent support “major reductions” in government spending to Social Security, the Kaiser/Harvard Poll noted.

The Gallup Poll found that left-leaning and right-leaning Americans polled had the same opinion about Social Security cuts: both subgroups saw the same low amount of support (34 percent) for spending cutbacks.

These barometers of public opinion come just as President Obama and Democrats clash with the strengthened Republican Party over whether entitlement programs should be scaled back amid the nation’s increasing debt burden.

In the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Obama called for a “bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations.” Republicans have called Obama’s deficit-reducing plans weak and have called for bigger cuts to spending.

But while both parties grapple with how to best deal with the skyrocketing deficit, social welfare programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are considered hands-off to cuts, as a funding pullback to the popular programs would prompt public vitriol.

The USA Today/Gallup Poll, conducted from Jan. 14 to 16 before President Obama’s State of the Union address, surveyed 1,032 U.S. adults over the telephone and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The Kaiser/Harvard Poll phoned 1,502 American adults between Jan. 4 and Jan. 14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Mimi Li