Poll: Americans See Social Security, Unemployment As Top Issues For Next President

Date: February 24, 2016

Republicans, Democrats Have Differing Priorities On Deficit, Inequality

The AP reports a poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 85 percent of voters believe protecting Social Security is either “extremely” or “very” important in terms of the next presidency. When it comes to decreasing the unemployment rate, 81 percent of Americans said this was either “extremely” or “very” important. Democrats, Republicans and independents are in agreement on those issues, but that is “where their similarities end.” Democrats are much more concerned than Republicans about “narrowing the gap between rich and poor, reducing poverty and increasing wages to keep up with the cost of living.” Meanwhile, Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to prioritize ideas like “shrinking the federal deficit, reducing government regulation and reforming welfare.” The story points out that there is “a reason” for voters’ worries on Social Security, because the program has only enough money to pay out full benefits until 2034. After that time it will only be able to pay roughly 75 percent of benefits, current forecasts project. And over the longer term, Social Security is forecast to pay $159 trillion more in benefits than it will be paid in taxes from workers in the next 75 years.

What This Means For Small Business

Clearly, small business owners are concerned about the future of Social Security and other entitlement programs, as well as reducing unemployment. Without dwelling on the partisan differences that surface in the poll, government debt and deficit spending threaten the pillars of a strong economy, business investment and capital formation. To ensure a vibrant small business community and provide entrepreneurs the conditions they need to thrive, the next president should adopt fiscal policies that rein in spending and cut burdensome regulations that prevent business formation and growth.

Additional Reading

The NFIB has previously reported on the need to balance the federal budget and Congressional Budget Office predictions that the debt will reach $30 trillion within ten years.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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