Republican Voters And Social Security: 64% Agree It’s A Ponzi Scheme, But More Say Must Keep Secure

September 19, 2011, 5:00 PM UTC

Some of the major Republican candidates for President have taken on the Social Security System, particularly Texas Governor Rick Perry, who described it in his 2010 book Fed Up! as a Ponzi scheme for younger Americans. Many Republican voters in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll agree — although even more agree with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s statement that Social Security must be kept and made financially secure.

The Economist/YouGov Poll tested three statements each of those two candidates has said in the current campaign or written in the past, without indicating which candidate had said them. Two statements by Romney score highest, both with the public overall and with Republican voters. Majorities of all Americans and eight in ten Republican voters approve of Romney’s defense of Social Security and also his statement that “Career politicians got us into this mess, and they simply don’t know how to get us out.”

Do you approve or disapprove of the following statements made by candidates currently running for the Republican nomination for President?
*Names listed below were not included in questionnaire
 All respondentsRegistered voters,
likely to vote in
Republican primary
Perry: "I’ll work every day
to try to make Washington, D.C.
as inconsequential in
your life as I can."
35% 58%
Romney: "Our seniors have the need
of Social Security. I will make
sure that we keep the program, and
we make it financially secure."
75% 79%
Perry: "It is a Ponzi scheme to tell
our kids that are 25 or 30 years
old today: ’You’re paying into a program
that’s going to be there.’
Anybody that’s for the status quo
with Social Security today is involved
with a monstrous lie to our kids,
and it’s not right."
39% 64%
Perry: "Printing more money to
play politics at this particular time in history
is almost treasonous in my opinion."
42% 70%
Romney: "Corporations are people." 29% 45%
Romney: "Career politicians got us into
this mess, and they simply don’t
know how to get us out." 60% 81%
60% 81%

But Romney also had the least approved statement: “Corporations are people.” Only 29% of the public and less than half of Republican voters approved.

As for all three Perry statements, most Republicans liked them – but far fewer inthe general public did.

Photo source: Press Association

Economist/YouGov poll archives can found here.