Bloomberg has a great article about a poll they did of what they claim is a representative sample of Americans. For me, after reading the quotes in the article, I think they just polled the first 1000 morons they could find.
“They always spin things one way or another and you can’t really trust it,” says Richard Klimczuk, 58, an independent voter living in Cleveland. “Democratic and Republican sides are both doing it. We have real problems in this country, but they’ll just say things to get people worried so things turn out the way they want them.”
In other words, Democratic claims that a double dip or at least an economic slowdown will result from cutting spending aren’t being believed despite the fact they are true (it’s happening in Europe and in states that have cut budgets now). Republicans claims about increasing taxes damaging the economy are also untrustworthy according to Dick here. Well, Dick’s got a 50% win/loss record, better than the Republican economists who are always wrong EVERY SINGLE TIME they say tax increases will drag the economy down. Provided the increases are reasonable and due to fiscal responsibility, they actually increase economic growth over trend. So much for that fossil Art Laffer and everyone’s favorite bearded troll, Grover Norquist.
On Medicare, 62 percent see a real danger that the program would go broke if not dramatically overhauled, compared with 35 percent who say that’s a scare tactic. Sixty-six percent see Social Security going broke without changes as a genuine threat, compared with 31 percent who call it a scare tactic. And respondents see the prospect that interest on the debt could drag the economy into a recession as a real danger rather than a scare tactic by 66 percent to 31 percent.
“Every year you’ve got more and more people getting on the government bill and more borrowing, and now we have less and less people paying in,” said Jason Gibson, 28, a truck driver from Romulus, Michigan. “You get too many people on one side of the ship, it’s going to tip.”
Actually, the biggest danger to both SS and Medicare/Medicaid is that we don’t get the economy growing again and return to full employment. Oh, sure, M/M has some big cost control problems (it pays way too much to drug companies are hospitals but not enough to doctors) but if those are addressed that’s really all you need to do to continue long term viability. As for SS, remove the cap on SS taxes, establish a payout cap for the wealthy and reset retirement ages based on long term employment. Sorry, but lawyers and bankers need to work a little longer to get a full payout than someone who is working in an auto plant.
Jason doesn’t get that. IF the economy were growing, we’d have more and more people paying in. But that has to happen first, bubba.