Social Security and Public Opinion

Report | March 1, 2002 | By Marilyn Watkins

Executive Summary

While Washington residents initially support restructuring Social Security to a system of private accounts, they change their opinion when they learn about the loss of guaranteed benefits and the costs of transition.

  • 57% favor maintaining the current Social Security system.
  • Adults between the ages of 25 and 64 shift from initially favoring to opposing private accounts.
  • Seniors over age 65 overwhelming support maintaining the current system.
  • Democrats and Independents strongly support maintaining the current system even before hearing consequences. Republicans continue to support changing to a system of private accounts after hearing about the costs and changes in benefits.

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