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New AARP PA Poll Says Members of Congress Could Lose Older Voters by Backing Proposed Cut to Social Security and Vets Benefits

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Pennsylvania Voters 50+ Oppose the Chained CPI, Believe Social Security Should Not Be Cut to Reduce the Deficit

AARP Pennsylvania today released new survey results that show 67 percent of older state voters would be considerably less favorable to their member of Congress if the member voted for a chained or superlative CPI proposal, expected to be in the President’s budget proposal this week.  The survey shows that 83 percent of Pennsylvania voters age 50+ also oppose the highly unpopular idea of idea of reducing Social Security benefits to reduce the deficit. AARP also released a national survey that could indicate how a vote for benefit cuts could impact House and Senate races across the nation.

 “This cut to Social Security would break the promise to Pennsylvania seniors and hurt veterans who’ve sacrificed so much for this great country,” said AARP Pennsylvania State President Jim Palmquist. “The chained CPI reduction snowballs over time and would increase taxes for most Pennsylvania taxpayers - at the same time that it cuts benefits for children, veterans, widows, retirees, and people with disabilities.  As this survey shows, older Pennsylvanians oppose the chained CPI and they’ve historically made their opinions known to their elected officials.”   

  Results in the survey on the impact of chained CPI include:

  • 67% of Pennsylvania voters 50+ would be less favorable towards their Member of Congress if they voted for a chained or superlative CPI (74% Democrats, 63% Republicans, 66% Independents).  
  • 83% of Pennsylvania voters 50+ oppose reducing the annual benefit increase retired and disabled veterans receive by changing the way the cost of living increase is calculated for veterans’ benefits (89% Democrats, 80% Republicans, 76% Independents).
  • 87% of Pennsylvania voters 50+ believe it’s very important that benefits are not reduced for today’s seniors.
  • 77% of Pennsylvania voters 50+ oppose increasing taxes for most taxpayers by changing the way the tax code is adjusted for inflation through chained CPI (48% Democrats, 55% Republicans, 52% Independents). However, 13% said they do not know if they support or oppose this, indicating there is little public understanding of how the chained CPI would affect a person’s taxes.   
  • 83% of Pennsylvania voters 50+ oppose reducing Social Security benefits to reduce the deficit (89% Democrats, 80% Republicans, 76% Independents).
  • 85% of Pennsylvania voters 50+ believe that the future of Social Security should be considered separately from the budget deficit discussions (91% Democrats, 82% Republicans, 79% Independents). 

 The results of the full survey can be found here.  Woelfel Research, an independent research firm, conducted 803 interviews of registered voters age 50+ on March 27 through April 2, 2013. This survey has a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.5%.

 For more AARP Pennsylvania resources and information on the impact of the chained CPI, please visit earnedasay.org or aarp.com/pa.

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