Generation Gap Influences Views on Budget Tradeoffs
The record generation gap evident in the last two presidential elections is echoed by large differences by age in attitudes about the tradeoff between reducing the federal deficit and preserving entitlements for older adults.
A Bipartisan Nation of Beneficiaries
A majority of Americans, both Democrat and Republican, have received government benefits from one of the six best-known federal entitlement programs.
Where the Public Stands on Government Assistance, Taxes and the Presidential Candidates
When the national conversation focuses on class, the social safety net and the distribution of wealth as it has in the past week, the public sees clear differences between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and Obama has an overall advantage.
Medicare Voucher Plan Remains Unpopular
A proposal to shift Medicare to a voucher system, part of a Paul Ryan plan approved by the House last year, remains unpopular. Both Ryan and Democrat Joe Biden get negative marks as vice presidential candidates.
Older Americans Have Been Highly Resistant to Medicare Changes
Older Americans are warier of changes to Medicare than are younger people. They are more positive about the way the program operates, less apt to think that changes are needed and far less disposed towards Paul Ryan’s proposal to reshape Medicare.
Debt and Deficit: A Public Opinion Dilemma
Pew Research Center President Andrew Kohut writes that there has never been an issue such as the deficit on which there has been such a consensus among the public about its importance — and such a lack of agreement about acceptable solutions.
Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years
Americans values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. Party has now become the single largest fissure in American society, with the values gap between Republicans and Democrats greater than gender, age, race or class divides.
The Generation Gap and the 2012 Election
In the last four national elections, generation has mattered more in American elections than it has in decades. This continues to be true as voters look ahead toward the 2012 general election. In a contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney, there is a 20-point gap in support for Obama between Millennials and the over-65 Silent generation.
Public Wants Changes in Entitlements, Not Changes in Benefits
The public sees the need for changes to improve the performance and finances of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid but does not support reductions in benefits. Republicans have divisions in their ranks on entitlement reforms.
Opposition to Ryan Medicare Plan from Older, Attentive Americans
There is broad, and strong, opposition to the proposal among older Americans and those who are paying a lot of attention to the issue.