A survey of Iowans — paid for by A-A-R-P — shows just under half of Iowans oppose the idea of letting younger workers invest part of their Social Security taxes in a private account. A-A-R-P state president David Miller says President Bush’s recent trip to Cedar Rapids didn’t sway public opinion his way. “In general, I can tell you that Iowans agree that private accounts are not the way to fix Social Security,” Mills says. “Despite the President’s visit to sell Iowans on private accounts, Iowans aren’t buying.” Forty-nine percent of Iowans said they oppose taking money out of the Social Security system to allow workers to invest in the stock market, according to the A-A-R-P survey. When pushed by the pollsters, 69 percent of the Iowans surveyed said they support reforms in the Social Security system to ensure it doesn’t go bankrupt, but do not support major changes. “Iowans want to see Social Security reformed, but not replaced with something else,” Mills says. Bruce Koepple, A-A-R-P’s state director, says the poll was conducted the week of April 1st, just two days after President Bush visited Cedar Rapids to talk about Social Security reform. “Support for private accounts (shifts) once Iowans of all ages learn the facts,” Koeppl says. The A-A-R-P opposes Bush’s push for private savings accounts so younger workers can invest up to four percent of their Social Security taxes. Koepple says those private accounts “threaten” the assurance that Social Security will provide a predictable retirement income. National polls have found greater opposition to the President’s Social Security reform plan than is shown in the A-A-R-P poll of Iowans. The national president of A-A-R-P will be in Iowa next month to hold forums on the issue. A-A-R-P president Marie Smith will appear in Des Moines on May 16th and in Cedar Rapids on May 17th.
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