Poll: NJ skeptical of Bush's Social Security plan

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:48

    AP-Only 31 percent of New Jerseyans surveyed support President Bush's planned Social Security revisions, according to a report published Sunday. In a poll last week of 600 Garden Staters by The Record of Bergen County, 57 percent of respondents said the president has done a good job of explaining his plan, even though that doesn't mean they support it. ``That's bad news for Bush,'' said Delair Ali, the demographics expert who oversaw The Record's survey. ``People are thinking, ‘He's done such a good job with the details and I don't like it.''' Asked whether the federally run retirement program needs immediate repair, 55 percent said it did not. Only 20 percent of those surveyed agreed with the president that Social Security is in crisis. And 45 percent said they would rather have a tax increase than invest part of their Social Security taxes in the stock market. A bipartisan commission has suggested solutions including increasing the payroll tax, decreasing benefits and using general Treasury revenues to shore up the system. The president favored the most complex proposal: a voluntary ``personal'' or ``private'' investment account that could divert up to 4 percent of one's Social Security deductions and invest it in bonds and publicly traded stocks. At retirement, payments from the account would be doled out monthly, along with a traditional Social Security check. Part of the private account could be left to heirs. ``Right now the money - your money - is earning very little compared to what you can get in conservative stocks and bonds and investments,'' Bush told 1,000 people in Westfield last month. ``I'm talking conservative. I'm not talking about lottery, taking it to the track.'' But some New Jersey Democrats say the only sure winners would be those managing the investments.