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Just 10% Know Government Can Spend Social Security Money Anyway It Wants

Friday, October 07, 2011

Working-age Americans remain skeptical about receiving their Social Security benefits even though they mistakenly believe money in the Social Security Trust Fund can be used only to pay promised benefits.

Overall, 52% of Likely Voters have a favorable view of Social Security, the New Deal’s most lasting legacy, while 43% hold an unfavorable view. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that most of those aged 30-49 have a negative opinion of the program. Among senior citizens, 75% have a favorable view.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Forty-two percent (42%) expect to receive all their promised benefits from Social Security, while 57% do not. Three-out-of four seniors expect to receive all their promised benefits, and those aged 50-64 are evenly divided. Among those under 50, a majority do not expect such a return.

This is consistent with findings for some time now, but in December 2006 56% felt they were at least somewhat likely to receive all their benefits.

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The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 2-3, 2011 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

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