In a new poll released today, 71 percent of likely voters in Colorado’s 2012 election oppose cutting Social Security benefits in order to reduce the federal deficit. Those opposed include 83 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Independents, and 53 percent of Tea Party supporters.
Strong majorities of Colorado voters oppose three specific proposals that would cut Social Security benefits by:
- Raising the retirement age: 56% oppose
- Changing the COLA formula in a way that reduces the amount beneficiaries receive: 59% oppose
- Reducing benefits for people earning above $60,000, typically what a proposal to “means-test” Social Security would do: 62% oppose
The poll was released as leaders in Washington debate how to reduce the federal deficit and many members of Congress call for having all options on the table, including deep cuts to Social Security. Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall have not declared where they stand on cutting Social Security benefits or taking it off the table because it does not contribute to the deficit.
“This poll shows that voters are clear in their thinking: Don’t cut Social Security benefits, don’t reduce the COLA and don’t raise the retirement age,” said Max Richtman, Acting CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, which has 220,000 members in Colorado.
“They also agree on something else: Congress should raise the Social Security tax cap so that people making more than $107,000 a year pay taxes on all of their wages just like everyone else who makes less than that amount has to do. This will guarantee that full Social Security benefits can be paid for the next 75 years.
These findings also suggest that members of Congress who recently voted to end Medicare as we know it by turning coverage over to private insurance companies and who voted to make deep cuts to Medicaid, two programs that seniors’ heavily depend on, could suffer a voter backlash.”
“More than 630,000 Coloradans receive Social Security and nearly half of them are lifted out of poverty by the program’s modest benefits,” said Coloradan and Alliance for Retired Americans Activist Vivian Stovall. “Social Security is based on a promise that if you pay in then you earn the right to guaranteed benefits. Our elected officials in Washington need to be sure that promise is kept.”