Commentary on Social Security Polling: Cross Currents in Opinion About Private Accounts

  • January 28, 2005

As the debate over Social Security heats up, the public is still coming to grips with this complex issue. Attention to the Social Security debate is fairly limited, and public opinion on the various proposals being circulated is fluid and highly dependent on how the options are framed. Yet it is possible to draw some conclusions from the recent round of national surveys on Social Security.

This analysis of these polls by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has found that, with some exceptions, the public is supportive of the idea of private investment accounts in Social Security. In most cases, however, support declines when the potential downside of private accounts is raised.