[Marxism] Majority Favors Social Security money into stocks - WnPost December 21 2004

Ralph Johansen michele at maui.net
Tue Dec 21 23:56:30 MST 2004

Majority Favors Stocks Choice for Social Security
But Many Reluctant to Invest Their Own Funds in Stock Market

By William Branigin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 21, 2004; 5:04 PM

Most Americans support reforming Social Security so that contributions can
be invested in the stock market, but many do not like having to raise the
national debt by as much as $2 trillion to pay for the new system, and a
solid majority would not put their own Social Security money into stocks,
according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The poll was conducted after President Bush declared last week that "the
crisis is now" in the Social Security system and that it must be
overhauled immediately to allow for private savings accounts. The survey,
which covered Social Security and other domestic issues, was conducted
Dec. 16-19 among 1,004 randomly selected adults nationwide and has a
margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

It showed that the public is largely skeptical that the system will have
enough money to pay retirement benefits in the future, but is also dubious
about how to reform it.

Asked if they thought there would be enough money in the system when they
retired, 63 percent of those surveyed said there would not be enough. But
only 25 percent thought the system was in a crisis (down from 34 percent
who thought so in 1998). Nearly half (49 percent) believe the system has
"major problems," according to the poll.

A majority (53 percent) supports allowing people to invest Social Security
contributions in the stock market, while 44 percent oppose it, the poll
shows. Those numbers are similar to the results when the question was
asked in the past few years. The peak of support for privatizing Social
Security came in 2000, when 64 percent supported the idea and 31 percent
opposed it.

But when supporters were asked a new question -- whether they still would
support a stock-market option if the government had to borrow as much as
$2 trillion to set it up -- 47 percent said they would not, 46 percent
said they would, and 7 percent had no opinion.

In response to a question that noted the risk involved in putting Social
Security money into the stock market, 62 percent of those surveyed said
they would not put their own contributions into stocks, compared to 37
percent who said they would. Of those who said they would make such
investments, only 7 percent said they would put "all" their contributions
into the market, while 57 percent said "some" and 23 percent answered
"just a little."

Regarding legislation that Bush signed last week to overhaul the nation's
intelligence community, 69 percent of respondents thought the new system
would improve U.S. intelligence-gathering operations, while 23 percent
said it would not.

On abortion, 55 percent said the procedure should be legal in all or most
cases and 42 percent said it should be illegal. Those figures are similar
to percentages recorded in Washington Post surveys since 1995. That year,
60 percent of respondents said abortion should be legal and 36 percent
said illegal. The closest that abortion opponents came to a majority was
in August 2001, when the split was 49-48 percent in favor of keeping
abortion legal.

On the prospect that Bush could nominate a new Supreme Court justice, a
plurality (43 percent) said they wanted to see a moderate appointed. A
third supported a conservative, and 21 percent said they preferred a

But a clear majority (60 percent) said the Senate should consider a
judge's views on issues such as abortion, gun control and affirmative
action when confirming presidential nominations to the federal courts.
Only 35 percent said the Senate should consider only a judge's background,
experience and qualifications.

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