Shock Poll: Seniors Most Favorable To Ryan’s Budget Plan


I am naturally skeptical of polls.  A pollster can gear the results the way they want them to turn out in too many ways for me to be overly confident with them.  Of course they still serve a purpose as small likely snapshots of reality.

USA Today/Gallup conducted a poll last week comparing President Obama’s budget plan with Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan.  One huge difference between the plans is that Ryan’s plan restructures Medicare for those younger than 55 years old into a subsidized private system.  That preserves Medicare by preventing costs from skyrocketing.  Naturally you would think that older Americans would be a little uneasy about this kind of change, but according to this poll they are warming up to the idea:

Preferred Long-Term Deficit Reduction Plan, by Age, April 2011

Gallup has various breakdowns of the results along with a few other poll questions on their website.  If you assume the results above to be accurate it indicates a dramatic shift in public opinion.  Historically any mention of changing or restructuring Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security in any way has been considered political suicide unless  it involves increasing funding or benefits.  Therefore, politicians have steered clear of that minefield in order to keep the senior vote.  But now we see that many older Americans are more open to change.  Why?  Perhaps all of the talk about trillions in deficits and debt has struck a chord with the wiser, more experienced Americans.  If that is true then apparently young Americans have not taken the fiscal situation in this country with as much of a concern.