File this entry in the "tell us something we don't know" file:
Battered by high unemployment and record home foreclosures, most Americans seem to have lost faith in another fundamental part of their personal finances: Social Security. A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds that a majority of retirees say they expect their current benefits to be cut, a dramatic increase in the number who hold that view. And a record six of 10 non-retirees predict Social Security won't be able to pay them benefits when they stop working. Skepticism is highest among the youngest workers: Three-fourths of those 18 to 34 don't expect to get a Social Security check when they retire.
The public's views are far more dire than the calculations of Social Security's trustees. Last year, they projected the system would begin running in the red in 2016, as the Baby Boom generation retired, and the trust fund would be exhausted in 2037. Then, Social Security — which celebrates its 75th anniversary next month — could finance about three-fourths of current benefits through the payroll tax.
Source: USA Today (July 20, 2010)