As a candidate, President Trump pledged to “save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts,” but nearly 60 percent of Americans heading into their retirement years don’t trust him to protect Social Security and Medicare, a new Ipsos/USA Today poll finds. Faith that the Republican-led Congress will guard the programs is even weaker, with 70 percent saying they don’t trust lawmakers to preserve the entitlements.
The online poll surveyed 1,170 adults ages 45 to 65 and was conducted August 30 to September 5. Its results broke down along party lines, with 57 percent of Republicans saying they believed the president would protect the entitlement programs, compared to just 28 percent of independents and 21 percent of Democrats. But regardless of political affiliations, most survey respondents don’t believe the programs are more secure now than they were a year ago.
When it comes to Congress, the partisan split was far smaller, with 62 percent of Republicans saying they don’t trust lawmakers to shield the programs compared with 74 percent of Democrats and 78 percent of independents.
The trustees for Social Security projected earlier this year that the program’s combined trust funds would be depleted in 2034, and the taxes paid by workers and employers would be enough to cover only 77 percent of scheduled benefit payments at that point. Medicare’s trustees similarly warned of a “substantial financial shortfall that will need to be addressed with further legislation.”