Welcome!

News Feed Item

How to Keep Lengthening Life Expectancies from Broadening our Budget Deficit?

Increasing Social Security and Medicare eligibility ages most popular among those already eligible, least popular among those approaching eligibility

NEW YORK, March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Social security and Medicare are often treated collectively as something of a third rail in politics (though there is admittedly no shortage of those). However, as American life expectancy has increased and as Baby Boomers are now eligible for early retirement and are approaching full retirement benefits eligibility, there is a sense of agreement that something needs to be done in order to keep increasing costs of these programs from forcing the federal budget deficit ever higher. As such, many have recognized that the government will have to modify the Medicare and Social Security programs in some manner to make them sustainable, even if there has been a lack of consensus among our political leaders as to how this might be accomplished. Looking at public sentiment though, Americans appear to favor – given the options on the table – raising the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare and encouraging more people to work over the age of 65 as the most palatable options.

Harris Poll Logo

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,266 adults surveyed online between February 12 and 17, 2014. (Full results, including data tables, available here

Some of the poll's top findings include:

  • When given five choices and asked what they think should happen over the next five years to meet these increasing costs while controlling the budget deficit, the policies chosen by the most Americans are increasing the age at which one is eligible for Social Security and Medicare and encouraging many more people over 65 to work (37% each).
  • Roughly one-fourth (24%) believe that we should increase taxes in order to accomplish this goal, while fewer than one in ten believe we should reduce either Medicare or Social Security benefits (7% each).
  • When asked which two of the five policy options people would choose if they had to pick two, the overall percentages grow but the top, middle and bottom rankings remain relatively unchanged. Encouraging many more people over 65 to work (54%) and increasing the age of eligibility (53%) top the list, followed by increasing taxes (36%) in the middle position, while fewer than one in ten indicate a preference for reducing either Medicare (9%) or Social Security (8%) benefits.

Differences by generation and gender
There are some considerable differences at play when examining the results across generational lines. Most notably, Matures, who at 68 and older are already universally eligible for full benefits, are more likely than any other generation to favor increasing the age of eligibility (53%, vs. 28% of Baby Boomers, 36% of Gen Xers, 41% of Echo Boomers). Baby Boomers, whose age range of 49-67 has them either nearing or just at the full retirement benefits age, are only half as likely as Matures to support such a course of action.

Looking at gender, men are more likely than women to support several of the options provided, including increasing the age of eligibility (41% men vs. 33% women), encouraging many more over 65 to work (40% vs. 33%) and increasing taxes (30% vs. 18%).

Differences by political party and philosophy
While substantial differences do exist along political divisions as to the role (if any) that tax increases should play, the real news is perhaps that Americans across both party and philosophical lines show no significant differences from one another in their support of the top two courses of action:

  • By political party:
    • Increasing the age of eligibility – 39% of Republicans, 35% of Democrats and 40% of Independents believe we should do this.
    • Encouraging many more people over 65 to work – 33% of Republicans, 38% of Democrats and 39% of Independents believe we should do this.
    • Increasing taxes – Democrats (34%) are more likely than Independents (23%) to support this; Independents, in turn are more likely to support this than Republicans (15%).
  • By political philosophy:
    • Increasing the age of eligibility – 37% each of Conservatives and Moderates, and 36% of Liberals, believe we should do this.
    • Encouraging many more people over 65 to work – 35% or Conservatives, and 37% each of Moderates and Liberals, believe we should do this.
    • Increasing taxes – Liberals (38%) are more likely to support this than Moderates (25%), who in turn are more likely than Conservatives (12%) to support this course of action.

To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!

Methodology
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between February 12 to 17, 2014 among 2,266 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #22, March 5, 2014
By Larry Shannon-Missal, Harris Poll Research Manager

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll
On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Press Contact:
Corporate Communications
The Harris Poll
212-539-9600
[email protected]

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO

SOURCE The Harris Poll

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Masters Technologies, a leader in Network Visibility and Uptime Solutions, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Masters Technologies is a leading vendor in the network monitoring and high speed networking markets. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Interface Masters' expertise lies in Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Eth...
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, showed how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningful f...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discusse...
To leverage Continuous Delivery, enterprises must consider impacts that span functional silos, as well as applications that touch older, slower moving components. Managing the many dependencies can cause slowdowns. See how to achieve continuous delivery in the enterprise.
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
Most of us already know that adopting new cloud applications can boost a business’s productivity by enabling organizations to be more agile and ready to change course in our fast-moving and connected digital world. But the rapid adoption of cloud apps and services also brings with it profound security threats, including visibility and control challenges that aren’t present in traditional on-premises environments. At the same time, the cloud – because of its interconnected, flexible and adaptable...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...