WASHINGTON — Most Americans say go ahead and raise taxes if it will save Social Security benefits for future generations. And raise the retirement age, if you have to.
Both options are preferable to cutting monthly benefits, even for people who are years away from applying for them.
Those are the findings of a new Associated Press-GfK poll on public attitudes toward the nation’s largest federal program.
Social Security is facing serious long-term financial problems.
When given a choice on how to fix them, 53 percent of adults said they would rather raise taxes than cut benefits for future generations, according to the poll. Just 36 percent said they would cut benefits instead.
The results were similar when people were asked whether they would rather raise the retirement age or cut monthly payments for future generations — 53 percent said they would raise the retirement age, while 35 percent said they would cut monthly payments.
‘‘Right now, it seems like we’re taxed so much, but if that would be the only way to go, I guess I’d have to be for it to preserve it,’’ said Marge Youngs, 77, of Toledo, Ohio. ‘‘It’s extremely important to me. It’s most of my income.’’
The trustees who oversee the massive retirement and disability program say Social Security’s trust funds will run out of money in 2033.