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Most Favor Hike In Social Security Tax Level

Friday, December 03, 2010

Americans are receptive to a proposal by President Obama’s bipartisan deficit reduction commission to increase the level of income taxable for Social Security, but most don’t like the idea of raising the retirement age.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 60% of Adults think Social Security taxes should be paid on all or most of the income workers earn each year. Just 21% disagree, although another 19% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

These findings are little changed from August 2008 when candidate Obama first proposed the higher level of Social Security taxation on the campaign trail.  Americans currently pay Social Security taxes only on the first $106,800 they earn each year.

Full Social Security benefits do not kick in now until age 66, and the commission is considering a proposal to gradually push back the receipt of full benefits to age 70, although those retiring in the next decade would not see any change.

However, only 34% of Americans support raising the age that younger workers receive full Social Security benefits to 70. Fifty-one percent (51%) oppose pushing receipt of the full benefits back until then. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of voters already think it is at least somewhat likely that most of today’s younger workers will work past the traditional retirement age of 65, with 47% who say it is Very Likely.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on November 30-December 1, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Are there partisan differences on the proposals? Adults in what age groups are most wary of raising the retirement age for full Social Security Benefits? Become a Platinum member and find out. 


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