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NPR/KAISER/KENNEDY SCHOOL

SOCIAL SECURITY SURVEY

Part IV: The Political Element

35. Do you think the Republican Party or the Democratic Party is better able to make the Social Security program financially sound in the future?

36. In general, do you think most members of Congress are SERIOUS about reforming Social Security, or are just using this issue to try to gain political advantage?

38. We have been talking about proposals people have made to change the Social Security system. I'm going to recap some of those proposals now. After I read the entire list, please tell me if there is anything on the list that you feel so strongly about that you would vote against your representative in Congress if he/she voted in favor of it. Is there anything on this list that you feel so strongly about that you would vote against your representative in Congress if he/she voted in favor of it?

Allowing the government to invest some Social Security tax funds in the stock market


Allowing individuals to invest a portion of their Social Security payments in the stock market


Raising the retirement age


Reducing the amount of benefits to retirees


Raising payroll taxes for employers and employees


Raising taxes on benefits to higher-income retirees


Limiting cost-of-living increases in benefits


Or, they didnít do anything to change the system


No, None of these would make a difference

39. Do you think the Social Security system is fair or not fair to people your age?


40. Which of the following statements comes closer to your own view

A. Current retirees are receiving more than the Social Security system can afford to pay and so there will be much less left in benefits for coming generations.

B. We can afford to give these benefits for current retirees without reducing benefits for coming generations.

C. Donít know

41. How much income per year do you think an average retired person needs today in order to live comfortably?

42. Do you think Social Security payments alone provide retired people with...

A. More than enough to live comfortably

B. Just about enough to live comfortably

C. Not enough to live comfortably, but not so little as to make living a struggle

D. Small enough that the average retired person needs to struggle to get by

E. Don't know

43. First, are you currently retired?

44. (Answer ONLY if you are not retired) At what age do you think you will retire?

44a. (Answer ONLY if you are not retired) Thinking about your retirement, how concerned are you that each of the following things might happen to you? Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned?

a. That you won't have enough money to live comfortably
b. That you will become a financial burden for your family
c. That you will have large medical bills and not be able to pay for care you need
d. That you will end up living alone
e. That you won't have enough to do
f. That you will lose your independence

Q44b. (Answer ONLY if you are retired) Thinking about the rest of your retirement, how concerned are you that each of the following things might happen to you? Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned?

a. That you won't have enough money to live comfortably
b. That you will become a financial burden for your family
c. That you will have large medical bills and not be able to pay for care you need
d. That you will end up living alone
e. That you won't have enough to do
f. That you will lose your independence