Talking About Social Security

TALKING ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY….I don’t really have much comment on this, but I thought I’d pass along the conclusions of some polling by Hart Research that Ruy Teixeira highlights in his latest edition of Public Opinion Watch. Hart polled a variety of ways of talking about Social Security, and here are their recommendations:

DON’T debate this at the level of philosophy ?”ownership society” vs. “social insurance.”

DO focus on the real, concrete harm to Americans’ retirement security done by the Bush plan.

DON’T get caught up in debating the size of the problem.

DO focus on how Bush plan makes problem worse and weakens Social Security.

DON’T focus all your attention on “risk” of accounts.

DO tell Americans about huge benefit cuts in plan….

Conclusions: Focusing Our Message

The Bush plan undermines retirement security by cutting guaranteed benefits 30% to 50%, even for those who don’t choose an account. Risky privatization accounts won’t make up the difference. Working people should get the benefits they paid for.

Social Security does face problems, but the Bush plan makes the problem worse and weakens Social Security by diverting trillions of dollars from the trust fund.

We can strengthen Social Security without slashing benefits:

Require Congress to pay back the money it has diverted from Social Security and create new opportunities for Americans to have tax-free savings for their retirement in addition to Social Security.”

Like I said, I don’t have any special comment on this. Just food for thought.

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