Poll: Medicare, SoSec worth higher taxes

Jan. 21, 2011 at 4:00 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Nearly two-thirds of Americans would rather pay higher Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes than have those benefits cut, a public opinion poll indicated.

If Americans had to choose from among cuts to Medicare, Social Security or the military, 55 percent said cut the military, The New York Times/CBS News poll released Friday found.

U.S. House conservatives called Thursday for cutting $2.5 trillion in spending over the next decade and President Barack Obama is expected to make fiscal responsibility a central theme of his State of the Union address Tuesday night, the Times said.

The poll, conducted Saturday through Wednesday, found that 49 percent of Americans said they approved of Obama's job performance, a slight improvement from the last poll, compared with 39 percent who do not approve.

And it suggested nearly eight out of 10 Americans -- including 77 percent of independents and 57 percent of Republicans -- think Obama will try to work with Republican lawmakers to get things done.

Less than half the respondents, or 46 percent, said Republicans would try to work with Obama.

Asked what Congress should focus on, 43 percent said job creation and 18 percent said healthcare. Then came deficit reduction, war and illegal immigration, the poll found.

The nationwide poll of 1,036 adults has a margin of sampling error of 3 percentage points.

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