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AARP Bulletin Survey Shows Majority of Americans Concerned About Federal Deficit

The February issue of AARP Bulletin ( reports that almost three quarters—71 percent—of Americans 18 and over were concerned or very concerned about America's federal budget deficit. The poll results are particularly significant because the Administration will release its budget for the coming year next Monday.

"Red ink makes Americans nervous, especially when there's no end in sight," said Jim Toedtman, editor of the AARP Bulletin. "Given the rising deficit and our nation's priorities, the American public and their elected representatives must answer the question: how do we achieve all of our objectives without seriously damaging our economy or our future?"

The national AARP Bulletin survey also asked respondents how they would balance the budget:

  • 69% Keep the estate tax on estates over $2 million
  • 41% Cut defense spending
  • 38% Create a national sales tax
  • 30% Cut farm subsidies
  • 25% Raise the Social Security tax
  • 11 % Cut Medicare and Medicaid
  • 7% Cut Social Security benefits

The national telephone survey of 1,026 adults 18 and over was conducted by International Communications Research (ICR) for the Bulletin January 4-9 and has a +/-3.06% margin of error.

The monthly AARP Bulletin provides news and analysis of issues and trends important to Americans 50-plus. It is a must-read for policymakers, members of Congress and national opinion leaders. The publication covers Medicare, Social Security, health and medicine, consumer protection, care giving, pensions and finances for AARP's 35 million members.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50-plus have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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