The poll includes notables such as Arthur Brooks, David Frum, John Podhoretz, John O'Sullivan, Reihan Salam, and Karl Rove. Some members have asked to remain anonymous.
Last week's poll focused on the Bush tax cuts, which continues to be relevant this week given the debate in Washington about whether and how to extend them. If you missed it, the results are here.
This week, in light of the ongoing debate about the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction proposals, we asked the ConservativeHome100 panel about reforming Social Security.
When asked about making Social Security solvent in the long-term, respondents were asked which policy solutions they support:
- 90% support raising the retirement age to 70 for people 40 years old and younger
- 88% support allowing people under 40 years of age to invest in voluntary private accounts
- 53% support cutting benefits
- 12% support reasonable tax increases
When asked whether bipartisan progress on Social Security is possible in the 112th Congress:
- 43% said yes
- 41% said no
- 16% said they were unsure
The ConservativeHome100 panel and the Republican Panel, our poll of grassroots conservatives, support private accounts at similar rates. But the former is more supportive or raising the retirement age than the latter.
Well-informed, influential conservatives clearly see significant reforms such as private accounts and raised retirement ages as more consequential than spending constraint.
Perhaps the radical nature of these reforms explains why less than half of respondents believe bi-partisan reform is possible.The most needed changes to Social Security are undoubtedly unpopular - and therefore politically difficult.