What You Need to Know
- A large majority of Americans over 50 see the federal deficit as a very or moderately big problem.
- However, an equal majority don't want retirement benefit programs cut.
- The TRUST Act is seen by AARP and others as a shady way to get around the will of the people.
A large majority — 87% — of Americans age 50 and older believe the federal budget deficit is a very or moderately big problem. However, a similar-sized majority of that age group oppose cutting Social Security or Medicare benefits to help reduce it.
In fact, a bipartisan majority of Americans over 50 — 88% of Republicans and 87% of Democrats — oppose any cuts to Social Security, while a similar amount oppose cuts to Medicare, according to a new survey by AARP.
However, age also mattered slightly in opposition, the study found. Of those 65 and older, 89% opposed Medicare benefit cuts and 87% opposed Social Security cuts, versus 81% and 83% respectively of those age 50 to 64.
These findings were from a survey of 1,016 adults 50 years and older, conducted both online and by phone from April 22 through April 26 by the advocacy group, which used NORC’s AmeriSpeak Omnibus, a monthly multi-client survey.
The poll was taken right after the reintroduction of the TRUST Act proposal by Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, which is intended to make it easier for lawmakers to overhaul Social Security and Medicare before the trust funds run out. Senior advocates say the law would be used to cut benefits.
“The Time to Rescue United States Trusts Act would create ‘rescue committees’ in Congress to propose legislation to ‘shore up’ various trust funds, including the reserves for Social Security and Medicare. The committees’ proposals would then be fast-tracked through the House and Senate, with no amendments and limited debate,” wrote Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, in a column for ThinkAdvisor in April.