Privatizing Social Security Is Popular Again

The headline from this morning's new National Journal/Pew poll is that voters aren't much enamored of the Republican agenda. They don't love health care reform, but don't really want to repeal it either; don't really want to renew Bush's tax cut for the wealthy; and are about split on amending the Constitution to disallow "anchor babies."

But isn't the real news here--buried in Paragraph 10(!)--that 58 percent of respondents favor creating private accounts for Social Security? To quote:

Respondents reacted more favorably to a proposal to allow younger workers to invest some of their Social Security tax dollars in private retirement accounts, including stocks and mutual funds. Nearly three in five Americans supported the plan, the same amount as in September 2004, when Bush ran on the issue in his re-election campaign.

That's pretty astonishing, in light of the financial crisis. Pew researchers note that they expect the popularity of private accounts to diminish if Republicans win the House or Senate and take up the issue. But even so--you'd think there hadn't been a calamitous global recession to highlight the dangers of investing in the stock market.