April 17, 2003 - Americans Worried They Will Lose Social Security, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Slim Majority Says U.S. Can't Afford Tax Cut
Most American voters under 65 years old, 52 percent, are very concerned that Social Security will run out of money before they are eligible," and another 25 percent are "somewhat concerned," according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Offering several choices on the issue of tax cuts, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds:
  • 46 percent of voters would rather reduce the deficit, while 47 percent would rather cut taxes;
  • 68 percent would rather spend more on domestic programs such as education and health care, while 27 percent would rather cut taxes;
  • 51 percent say the U.S. can't afford a tax cut because of the cost of the war in Iraq, while 41 percent say a tax cut is needed to stimulate the economy.
"Projections say Social Security is solvent for at least a couple of decades, but Americans worry that the pot will run dry before their check is in the mail," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"It's not exactly man-bites-dog, but it might surprise some that Americans are not receptive to the latest proposed tax cut. That's probably because 50 percent of us think the tax cut is going to the rich. If President George W. Bush doesn't want to follow in his father's footsteps - victor in war, loser at the supermarket counter - he'll pay attention to these economic concerns."

President Bush's proposed tax cut favors the rich, 50 percent of American voters say, while 7 percent say it favors the middle class and 32 percent say it treats all people equally.

While Bush's overall approval rating is 73 - 22 percent, he gets a lower 53 - 41 percent for his handling of the economy.

Only 36 percent of voters describe the nation's economy as "excellent" or "good," while 63 percent say "not so good" or "poor."

But 50 percent expect the economy to get better in the next year, with 13 percent expecting it to get worse and 36 percent who say the economy will stay the same.

In a reverse possibly driven by good feeling about the U.S. success in Iraq, 65 percent of American voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the country today, while 34 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied."

In a March 6 Quinnipiac University poll, 44 percent of American voters were very or somewhat satisfied, with 54 percent who were somewhat or very dissatisfied.

"This latest 'satisfaction' rating is good for the President, but let's see what happens when the headlines shift from victory in Iraq back to the economy at home," Carroll said.

From April 10 - 14, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,048 registered voters nationwide, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and nationwide as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu or call (203) 582-5201

2. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very satisfied 19% 34% 8% 11% 24% 15% Smwht satisfied 46 51 37 49 45 46 Smwht dissatisfied 20 11 30 23 20 21 Very dissatisfied 14 3 23 16 11 16 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 - 2

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling -- the economy?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 53% 79% 28% 46% 56% 49% Disapprove 41 15 65 47 39 42 DK/NA 7 6 7 7 5 8



25. Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Excellent 2% 2% 2% 1% 3% 1% Good 34 47 20 34 37 32 Not so good 43 43 44 44 42 43 Poor 20 7 33 22 17 24 DK/NA 1 1 1 - 1 -



26. During the next 12 months, do you think the economic conditions in the United States will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Get better 50% 65% 38% 47% 57% 43% Get worse 13 7 18 13 10 15 Stay about the same 36 26 43 39 32 39 DK/NA 2 2 1 1 1 3



27. If you had to choose, would you prefer reducing the federal budget deficit or cutting taxes?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Reducing deficit 46% 43% 45% 52% 50% 43% Cutting taxes 47 51 44 44 46 48 DK/NA 7 6 10 4 5 9



28. What is your preference - to cut taxes or to have the federal government spend more on domestic programs such as education and health care?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Cut taxes 27% 44% 13% 23% 32% 23% Spend more on programs 68 51 83 73 63 72 DK/NA 5 5 4 5 5 4



29.Which comes closer to your view: A) a tax cut is needed now to stimulate the economy, or B) we can't afford a tax cut now because of the cost of the war.

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


A) Tax cut is needed 41% 50% 34% 36% 45% 37% B) Can't afford tax cut 51 43 56 55 47 54 DK/NA 9 6 10 8 8 9



30. Do you think President Bush's proposals on cutting taxes favor the rich, favor the middle class, favor the poor, or treat all people about equally?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favor rich 50% 24% 75% 54% 46% 54% Favor middle class 7 10 5 7 8 7 Favor poor 1 1 2 2 2 1 Treat all equally 32 55 12 27 36 28 DK/NA 9 11 7 10 8 10



31. How concerned are you that tax cuts will lead to cuts in government programs and services? Very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very concerned 36% 17% 52% 39% 32% 39% Smwht concerned 33 37 33 33 32 34 Not too concerned 18 29 7 17 18 18 Not at all concerned 10 16 4 10 14 6 DK/NA 3 2 3 2 3 2



32. How concerned are you that Social Security will run out of money before you are eligible for benefits? Very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned?

                          AGE .........................
                          <65yrs  18-29   30-44   45-64 


Very concerned 52% 53% 57% 46% Smwht concerned 25 23 23 28 Not too 13 13 13 12 Not at all 10 11 7 12 DK/NA 1 - - 2