April 15, 2005

Survey: Region's residents wary of Bush Social Security ideas

Full report
Capital Region residents are much less supportive than other Californians, and Americans in general, of President Bush's idea to allow workers to invest part of their Social Security taxes, with just 38 percent favoring the idea, according to a new survey by researchers at Sacramento State.

Various other polls have found 49 percent support for the idea of "private" or "personal" accounts statewide, and 46 to 48 percent support nationwide.

In addition, the survey found tepid support in the region for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's idea of replacing the state pension system with a 401k-like system for new employees. The idea was supported by 38 percent of residents and opposed by 30 percent, with 32 percent saying they don't know about the idea or don't have an opinion.

That's in stark contrast to a statewide poll that found 61 percent of Californians support the governor's plan.

The findings are from the fourth "Annual Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality" in the Sacramento Region, conducted by Sacramento State sociology professor Amy Liu and more than 20 students. It covers El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties.

The survey also found that Capital Region residents increasingly disapprove of President Bush's handling of Social Security. The 54 percent disapproval on the issue represents a 10 percent jump from a year ago, and is about the same as the nation as a whole.

Even so, 65 percent of those surveyed said it was "extremely" or "very" important that Congress and President Bush deal with Social Security this year. Nationwide, 82 percent of those surveyed nationwide think so.

The survey included 1,002 randomly selected adults in the Capital Region who were interviewed from Feb. 15 to March 16. The margin or error is 3 percent.

Media assistance is available from Sacramento State Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156.

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