« »

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Chained CPI would take food out of seniors’ mouths

Raw Story - Woman weeps to senator over Social Security cuts: 'There's no way for me to eat less!'
Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin heard from Iowa seniors about their opposition to chained CPI at a townhall event yesterday. For those who aren’t familiar, the report explains chained CPI as “a less generous way of calculating Social Security cost-of-living increases that assumes seniors will change their buying habits as certain items become more expensive.” The problem, of course, is that Social Security benefits are hardly generous for many seniors and the assumption discounts the notion that they’re already buying the cheapest items they can find.

"Compared with the current model, advocacy group Social Security Works has said that a person who began drawing Social Security at the age of 62 would be receiving 7.32 percent less in benefits per year by the age of 88 under chained CPI,” the report goes on.

Pres. Obama has signalled that he would be open to chained CPI, despite the fact that much of the left is opposed to the idea. Obama originally conceived of it as part of a “grand bargain” with Republicans. He’s since stopped talking about it, but the fact that he hasn’t ruled it out in the future is extremely disturbing.

"I’m sorry to say that the president of my own party has advocated this and he’s wrong," Harkin told seniors at the town hall. "I’m so tired of people saying we’ve got to cut Social Security. I thought, we got to come back and say something, no, you’ve got to increase Social Security."

And then we get the instructive moment:

Many attendees also spoke out against the plan, but one woman, Sheryl Tenicat, became emotional as she begged for Social Security not to be cut.

“I have $624 a month, that’s what I’m living on,” Tenicat explained. “Ninety-nine [dollars] of that goes to Medicare Part D and B. After I get my check, in two weeks, it’s gone. I have nothing. I live with what I eat here. And I just do not want my cost of living cut because I’ve paid in since I was 16 to the government. I’m looking for work in my retirement years so that I can exist. I do own my house, but I don’t know how long that will go because I have property taxes to pay.”

Tenicat added that her car had broken down and she now had to take the bus to the retirement center to receive her free meals.

“There is no way for me to eat less,” she said.
There is no more money in many seniors’ budgets to cut. They can’t decrease spending as costs rise, because they’re already paying rock bottom now.

The fact is that cutting Social Security is a scam to avoid rasing taxes on those that can afford it. Social Security adds nothing to the deficit, so cutting benefits to pay down deficits is actually a transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top. If the president agrees to chained CPI, it’ll be a deep betrayal of Democratic values and it will literally put people like Sheryl Tenicat out on the street — the very situation that Social Security was designed to prevent.

Search Archive:

Custom Search