WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 24, 2013) — This week, more than 80 House Democrats introduced a resolution that rejects President Obama’s proposal to cut Social Security benefits by using a “chained CPI” to calculate cost-of-living increases. H.Con.Res. 34, sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), says it is the sense of Congress that “the Chained Consumer Price Index should not be used to calculate cost of living adjustments for Social Security benefits.”
So far, the only member of Congress from Washington State among the resolution’s 81 co-sponsors is Rep. Jim McDermott (D-7th).
TAKE A STAND! — The Alliance for Retired Americans is urging all union members and their families to CLICK HERE to contact their members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor H.Con.Res. 34. The Stand will follow-up and report when additional members of Washington’s Congressional delegation sign on to H.Con.Res. 34 as co-sponsors.
In his 2014 budget plan, President Obama called for imposing a chained CPI formula that would reduce Social Security cost of living adjustments. The proposal was widely seen as an attempt to compromise with Republicans who are demanding Social Security and Medicare cuts, in exchange for GOP support for closing some corporate tax loopholes and raising federal revenue to balance the budget. Republicans have yet to make such an offer in response.
“Pursuit of bipartisanship cannot justify using our most vulnerable people as a bargaining chip,” said Rep. McDermott in a statement. “Seniors in America, half of whom live on about $22,000 annually, can’t afford to shoulder the financial burden of balancing our budget, which is exactly what a ‘chained’ Consumer Price Index would ask of them. Many Social Security recipients live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have money left over to finance Republicans’ insatiable appetite for more tax breaks.”
The AFL-CIO points out that the “chained CPI” is based on a fraudulent premise: that the CPI is rising faster than the actual cost of living experienced by seniors, veterans and millions of other vulnerable citizens living on meager incomes. In fact, because seniors in particular have limited flexibility and spend a disproportionate share of their income on health care, they tend to experience more rapid inflation than the general population.
Also, as noted in HCon.Res. 34, Social Security does not contribute to the federal budget deficit and shouldn’t be a part of those negotiations. Rep. Cicilline said the government should not be looking at Social Security as a source of funds to cut the deficit.
“Social Security isn’t an ‘entitlement program’ — it’s a promise our country has made that, after a lifetime of hard work, American seniors can enjoy their retirement years with peace of mind and economic security,” he said. “I will keep fighting to maintain these earned benefits for seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.”
TAKE A STAND! — The Alliance for Retired Americans is urging all union members and their families to CLICK HERE to contact their members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor H.Con.Res. 34. The Stand will follow up an report when additional members of Washington’s Congressional delegation sign on to H.Con.Res. 34.