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Adults 50-Plus Want Social Security and Medicare Excluded From Fiscal Commissions

Support for the creation of a fiscal commission to help find ways to reduce government debt drops dramatically if the commission could lead to cuts in Social Security and Medicare, according to a recent AARP survey of adults 50 and older.

spinner image Man holding back time for Social Security

Support for a debt commission drops from 75% to just 16% when cuts to Social Security and Medicare could be on the table as options for reducing the national debt. Opposition is consistent across political parties, with more than three-quarters of Democrats (83%), Independents (76%), and Republicans (82%) opposing its creation.

The leading bill moving through Congress would let seven members of Congress propose cuts to Social Security and Medicare and then force a vote by Congress, without allowing changes and with limited public input. Nearly nine in 10 adults ages 50-plus (86%) oppose this kind of proposal. Again, opposition is high among Democrats (86%), Independents (77%), and Republicans (88%).

Based on survey findings, elected officials should be wary of supporting a fiscal commission that could lead to cuts to Social Security or Medicare. Over three quarters (77%) of adults ages 50-plus would be less likely to vote for an official who supported such a commission the next time they ran for office, including 84% of Democrats, 66% of Independents, and 75% of Republicans. Moreover, many Democrats (70%), Independents (47%), and Republicans (51%) say they would be much less likely to vote for such an elected official.


Interviews were conducted February 15–19, 2024, among 1,010 U.S. adults ages 50-plus in the Foresight 50+ Omnibus. Funded and operated by NORC at the University of Chicago, Foresight 50+ is a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population ages 50 or older. Interviews were conducted online and via telephone. All data are weighted by age, sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, and AARP membership.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Perron of AARP Research at For media inquiries, contact