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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:07 PM

It's not just the 'greedy geezers,' millennials support Social Security, too

Catfood Commissioner Alan Simpson is just one of many Social Security haters that have done their level best to create a generational war over Social Security and Medicare. They do it by undermining the faith in the programs of younger people by constantly warning that the programs are in crisis and won't be there for them, with the not-so-subtle implication that it's because all the old people are sucking up all the resources.

It's worked to a degree, but not wholly, according to new polling from the Pew Research Center. Majorities of people in the 30-64 age bracket say that protecting entitlements is more important than deficit reduction, as does a plurality—48 percent to 41—in the 18-29 group.

There's few surprises in the policies that people most support when options for changing Social Security are queried.

Of the three proposals for changing Social Security tested in the survey, the most popular is the idea of raising payroll taxes on high-income earners. Two-thirds of all adults favor this proposal, while 29% oppose it. A smaller majority of adults (55%) say they would favor reducing Social Security benefits for seniors with higher incomes; 39% oppose this proposal. When asked about gradually raising the age at which people can begin to receive Social Security benefits, only 38% were in favor, while a majority (56%) opposed this idea.

The public has a similar set of views on possible reforms to the Medicare program. Six-in-ten adults say they would favor reducing Medicare benefits for high-income seniors (33% oppose this). At the same time, only about one-third of adults (35%) say they would favor gradually raising the age of eligibility for receiving Medicare.


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