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
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, wil...
Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) has announced that NoviFlow Inc.has deployed IxNetwork® to validate the company’s designs and accelerate the delivery of its proven, reliable products. Based in Montréal, NoviFlow Inc. supports network carriers, hyperscale data center operators, and enterprises seeking greater network control and flexibility, network scalability, and the capacity to handle extremely large numbers of flows, while maintaining maximum network performance. To meet these requirements, NoviFlow in...
StarNet Communications Corp has announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 to safely tunnel the remote desktops from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP protocol to display remote desktop environments such as the Gnome and KDE desktops on Linux servers and the CDE environment on Solaris Unix machines. XDMCP is used primarily on comp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications 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. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
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.
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
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.
Enterprises have forever faced challenges surrounding the sharing of their intellectual property. Emerging cloud adoption has made it more compelling for enterprises to digitize their content, making them available over a wide variety of devices across the Internet. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Santosh Ahuja, Director of Architecture at Impiger Technologies, will introduce various mechanisms provided by cloud service providers today to manage and share digital content in a secure manner....
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...