11/2011 - Entitlement Cuts & Louisiana’s Seniors

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Entitlement Cuts & Louisiana’s Seniors
1. As you may know, the legislation to raise the federal debt ceiling that was passed by Congress and signed by the president at the end of July called for the creation of a bipartisan committee, sometimes referred to as the 'super committee.' The committee is made up of 12 members of Congress -- six Republicans and six Democrats -- and must come up with a plan to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the federal budget deficit over the next 10 years. They must make their recommendations to Congress by November 23. If the committee doesn't reach consensus, or if Congress doesn't approve their recommendations by December 23, a series of automatic spending cuts would kick in. Do you think creating the bipartisan super committee was a good idea or a bad idea?
2. How much do you trust this bipartisan super committee to make the right recommendations about ways to reduce the federal budget deficit: a great deal, a fair amount, just a little, or not at all?
3. When it come to reducing the deficit, do you think the deficit should be reduced by cutting federal spending, by increasing taxes, or by a combination of both?
4. How likely do you think it is that Democrats and Republicans in Congress will agree on a deficit-reduction plan: very likely, somewhat likely, somewhat unlikely, or very unlikely?
5. If a deficit-reduction plan is not agreed on, automatic cuts of 1.2 trillion dollars in federal spending will take effect in January 2013, half from military programs and half from domestic programs. Would you support or oppose these automatic cuts if there is no agreement?
6. If the super committee recommends reducing the deficit by reducing federal spending, I'd like to know in which areas you would be willing to see spending reduced. For each area I name, please tell me if you would support major spending reductions, minor spending reductions or no reductions at all as a way to reduce the federal deficit.

First, to reduce the deficit would you support major reductions, minor reductions, or no reductions to spending on defense?
7. Would you support major reductions, minor reductions, or no reductions to spending on medicare, the government program which pays for health care for elderly?
8. Would you support major reductions, minor reductions, or no reductions to spending on medicaid, the government program which pays for health care for low income adults and children?
9. Would you support major reductions, minor reductions, or no reductions to spending on social security?
10. Please indicate if you would support or oppose the following proposal:
Making more of higher-earners income subject to social security payroll tax.
11. Reducing social security benefits for seniors with higher incomes.
12. Gradually raising the age at which people can begin receiving social security.
13. Raising the amount people on Medicare contribute to cover health care costs.
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