Surveyed Older Hoosiers Say Social Security Does Not Belong in Debt Talks

AARP recently surveyed hundreds of older Hoosiers regarding the prospect of the President and Congress making changes to Social Security in order to lessen the nation’s deficit. Cristina Martin-Firvida with AARP confirmed that 86 percent of those surveyed expressed that Social Security discussion does not belong in debt talks.

“And that held true across party lines,” Martin-Firvida explained. “We saw 85 percent of Republicans agree that Social Security should not be affected for deficit reduction.”

Martin-Firvida said 89 percent of respondents indicated that it’s vital that Social Security benefits not be reduced for current seniors. One proposal included in President Obama’s budget would utilize what is called a “chained CPI” to determine the annual cost of living adjustments for recipients of Social Security or veterans’ benefits, reducing expected increases. However, Martin-Firvida said older Hoosiers are obviously opposed to the idea.

“We saw very strong opposition, specifically when we asked, ‘What about this idea of a chained CPI?’ – which is again a way to change the way we calculate the inflation adjustment for your Social Security benefit or your veteran’s benefit,” said Martin-Firvida.

The AARP financial security and consumer affairs director explained negative changes to Social Security benefits would result in a negative change of opinion about politicians.

“Seventy-three percent of Indiana voters age 50-plus said they would be less favorable toward their member of congress if he or she voted for the chained CPI,” she said.

More than 800 registered Indiana voters over the age of 50 were interviewed for the survey, with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.5 percent.