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Would you cut Social Security?

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Posted: 7 am ET

Would you vote for a small cut to your Social Security payments if making this cut would ensure that you and others would continue to get the remaining promised payments for the rest of your life and put the U.S. on a solid financial footing going forward?

Harris pollsters on behalf of Wells Fargo asked a representative sampling of Americans a version of this question and got a mixed response, with the majority opposed to the idea.

Some 61 percent of people who said they had saved less than $250,000 for retirement told pollsters no, they would not be willing to take a reduction in their Social Security or Medicare benefits.

People with more retirement savings -- greater than $250,000 -- weren't a whole lot more willing to accept cuts, with 54 percent saying no to this question. The most willing to accept a reduction were women with more than $250,000 in savings, with 45 percent saying yes.

In making any decision that reduces Social Security benefits, you have to take into account the impact that Social Security has on the personal economies of millions. The nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that almost 90 percent of people aged 65 and older receive some of their household income from Social Security. Thanks to Social Security, only 8.7 percent of Americans 65 and older live on incomes that are below the poverty line, but without Social Security, 43.6 percent would have incomes below it.

Of course, no proposals are talking about getting rid of Social Security altogether, just giving it a haircut. It's a tough retirement planning idea to swallow. Nearly all of us who are at or near retirement age have paid into this program for more than 40 years -- even during times in our lives when we needed every penny we could scrape together just to limp by. For our leaders to ask us to accept less than we might have gotten under different economic circumstances doesn't feel fair. But as my mother used to tell me -- frequently -- life isn't fair. If it would help reduce the debt that burdens our country and could overwhelm our children as they grow older, then I am reluctantly in favor.

How do you feel? Would you support cutting Social Security for the long-term good of the country?

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November 21, 2012 at 12:38 am

Not only NO, but Hell No!!!

I am not succumbing?? to the rich and the evil so I can make my life as uncomfortable as I can, so they can pinch every dam dime out of us. We did not create this economy and it didn't just happen. Our so called government- did it on purpose and there is plenty of proff of this. It was planned and what's planned for the future will be a nightmare.

The american people need to come together and stand up to them and just tell them we aren't doing it. that we won't pay taxes for Obama care that we don't want or won't use!! the american people have become so patheticno one cares. how can you not care about your lives, your future- whether you live in poverty and under a socialist party and have food and water rationed out, be shot over food & water, etc etc. it's coming. STAND UP people. STAND UP!!!

November 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm

This is SURPRISING? Of course those people who have more money, who probably don't need it in the first place are willing to see it cut. Very well then, let's take their SS away completely since it appears that they really don't need it.

Shirley Helwig
November 20, 2012 at 11:35 am

NO!!! The saving should start with Congress and the President who got us into this mess, let them give up their perks, pensions, salary and benefits, the normal person could only dream of.They even get paid when they don't show up for work. Why is it the ones who work are the ones paying for everything. You let our jobs go overseas even give them incentives. You keep giving money to other countries. You want to give more rights, benefits and probably even wellfare and social security to the illegals who are illegally in this country, what other country would do that for us.(Thats right you got their votes) But the working people can pay for that too. Just keep taking away from the working people and retires we are the only class that have no rights according to our government.

bryan holber
November 20, 2012 at 10:19 am

How could they cut SS? Where would they get the money to increase the deficit?

peach 700
November 20, 2012 at 6:21 am

This will solve many of our SS and retirement funding and economic problems....I think high priority for the USA is to bring manufacturing back to USA (hiring US citizens)! This combined with ensuring that SS and pension funds can NOT be borrowed or raided by Congress or anyone else AND STOPPING the waste, fraud, and abuse at ALL levels will save our economy.. I will continue to pressure my Congressional representatives to do this.....To Those who have commented about putting CONGRESS on SS!! CONGRESS and Fed employees ARE IN and contribute to SS...THEY were put on SS IN the 1980s...TO (GUESS WHAT??!!) SAVE SS AND MEDICARE!!!!THAT worked well..huh??..BTW MOST of OUR Congress area already Millionaires and view that pay they receive as just a little extra...CONGRESS needs to be held accountable BY LAW...and by our vote...We need to vote for people who are NOT MILLIONAIRES but pay the NON MILLIONAIRES to represent US..the people!!

November 20, 2012 at 3:22 am

Cut social security instead of tax breaks, no; instead of a reduction in defense, no; instead of corporations paying their scheduled taxes, no. Why cut social security when there are so many other options?

November 20, 2012 at 2:55 am

If the government can afford to cut the S/S tax on payroll by 2% then there must be plenty of money in the fund. All should pay into S/S and not be able to reach the limit where its not taxed on their pay. How rude to ask the retirement 'baby boomers' to give up what we've worked for most of our lives.

November 20, 2012 at 1:56 am

S/S for a lot of people have been paid into for 60 years! OK if you want to do this---then give the people BACK! the money they put into it--------WITH ALL THE INTEREST OVER THE YEARS--then then uneducated people will SUFFER--Our elected officials NEED to be raighned in!!!!

November 20, 2012 at 1:22 am

NO!!! The American people have worked hard, paid into, for what they get.Why doesn't the goverment take a few cuts, then we may not be in this mess the country is in.

November 20, 2012 at 12:43 am

No we worked hard for our social security. I'm in agreement with most of the posts in saying that the officials in DC should take a pay cut, do away with their unlimited budgets, their meal vouchers, do away with some of those recesses, they were made to allow the farmers that were in congress and the senate to return home to help with the planting and harvesting. The Constitution says they are to make no law that doesn't apply to them also. So I believe that they should give up their golden parachutes and their healthcare and get obamacare too!