Americans say Social Security is mismanaged

amaxwell@govexec.com

Nearly 80 percent of Americans say problems in the nation's Social Security system are due at least in part to government mismanagement, according to a study released Thursday by Americans Discuss Social Security.

A majority of the 1,202 adults surveyed said the Social Security program is headed for "major trouble" and needs "big changes" in order to survive. Fifty-nine percent of people under age 65 and 37 percent under age 65 said the future of Social Security is in jeopardy.

Forty-five percent of those surveyed listed mismanagement is the main reason for Social Security's shortcomings, while 26 percent cited demographic changes as the primary explanation.

People who say they trust government still place blame on the government itself for the problems with Social Security, according to the poll.

Those who said they trust the government to "do what is right" are divided between citing government mismanagement and demographic changes as the main reason for Social Security's difficulties. Sixty-eight percent, however, said mismanagement is at least one of the factors.

People who said they trust government some of the time or never chose mismanagement as the main reason over demographic changes by a two-to-one margin. Forty-nine percent cited mismanagement and 24 percent cited demographic changes.

The poll was conducted in March by Princeton Survey Research Associates.

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