Most Okay With Higher Social Security Taxes

New AARP survey also finds most plan to rely on Social Security in retirement.

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Social Security Provides Financial Security for Families

The AARP survey found widespread understanding and support for Social Security as an important resource for families and their loved ones.

Americans overwhelmingly support Social Security's protections for people who are disabled and for children and widowed spouses of deceased workers (91%). Almost two-thirds of Americans 18+ (65%) say that their family would be hard hit if Social Security were cut, including 72% of adults whose household annual income is less than $50,000. Eighty percent of Americans appreciate that Social Security alleviates the financial burden of taking care of parents and 88% of non-retired adults believe Social Security helps older Americans remain independent.

With increased attention on Social Security's future, the survey assessed Americans' attitudes toward key features of the program. Across all ages, nearly eight in ten (79%) Americans surveyed agree that Social Security should continue to provide guaranteed benefits while few (19%) think that it should be more like an investment account, subject to risk of possible losses. Half of Americans believe that Social Security payments for retirees are too low.

"We are celebrating Social Security's 75 years of success in reliably helping millions of people age with dignity, confidence and independence," said LeaMond. "We encourage leaders in Washington to reassure all Americans – in words and in actions – that Social Security will be strengthened, not treated as a piggy bank for deficit reduction, so that we can celebrate again 75 years from now."

During the August Congressional recess, AARP is engaging Americans of all ages in activities around the country to demonstrate to lawmakers the importance of Social Security. The organization is going to state fairs, holding community conversations, and collecting petitions that ask the President and Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle not to cut Social Security benefits for deficit reduction and to keep Social Security strong. AARP has already collected 1.5 million petitions over the past few months.

AARP commissioned GfK Roper, a national survey research firm, to conduct a national random digit dial (RDD) telephone survey of 1,200 adults aged 18 or older. A total of 781 respondents were not retired and 419 were retired. Interviews were conducted from July 15th to 27th, 2010. The results from the study were weighted by age, sex, race, region, and education. The margin of sampling error is approximately +/- 3%.

To download a copy of the survey, go to www.aarp.org/socialsecurity75th.

For more information, visit www.aarp.org.

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