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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira: Medicare and Social Security Still Off Limits

If the GOP wingnuts thought they were going to get any traction with their various proposals to gut Medicare and Social Security, they are living in political fantasyland. As TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira explains in this week’s edition of his ‘Public Opinion Snapshot’:

Start with this finding from a recent Pew poll: 58 percent thought it was more important to keep Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are rather than take steps to reduce the budget deficit (35 percent).
In the same poll, 59 percent thought it was more important to avoid any future cuts in Social Security benefits, compared to 32 percent who thought it was more important to avoid any future Social Security tax increases for workers and employers.

The public also has a very low tolerance for wingnut schemes to screw around with eligibility requirements for the two programs, particularly the age of recipients:

Nor does the public like the idea of raising the age you can receive benefits for either Social Security or Medicare. By 59-39, the public opposes raising the age you can receive Social Security benefits and, by an almost identical 58-38, they oppose raising the age at which you can receive Medicare benefits.

Teixeira concludes that conservatives who “confuse the views of their base with the views of the broader public…could pay a significant price come next election.”

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