Has Social Security been good for the country?

https://readthespirit.com/ourvalues/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2013/03/wpid-00915_Social_Security_Poster_1930s.jpgSOCIAL SECURITY promotional poster used in the late 1930s. Image from Wikimedia Commons.Has Social Security been good for the country—or is it a “crumbling monument to the failure of the New Deal,” as Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry wrote in his 2010 book, Fed Up?

Almost nine of ten Americans (87%) say Social Security has been good for the country, according to a Pew Research Center poll in June this year. About the same proportion (88%) say Medicare has been good for the country, with 77% saying Medicaid has been good as well. Do you agree?

While most Americans say Social Security has been good for America, most also say that its finances are troubled and a fix is needed. Consistent with the Washington Post-ABC News poll I cited yesterday, Pew finds that most Americans don’t want a cut in benefits. Sixty percent say keeping Social Security and Medicare benefits intact is more important than reducing the budget deficit.

But there is a curious split among Republicans. Those who are relatively affluent think that reducing the budget deficit is more important than keeping benefits intact, while those with lower family incomes say the opposite. Democrats, however, don’t have the same split: Richer and poorer Democrats say that maintaining benefits is a top priority. In a rare coincidence, Democrats and low-income Republicans agree that keeping benefits as they are is important.

Do you agree that Social Security has been good for the country?

Do you agree that it’s in need of a big fix?

Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.

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