There are now multiple press reports that President Obama will agree to a fiscal deal that enacts a so-called “Chained CPI” to calculate Social Security and veterans’ benefits. Under this plan, beneficiaries would get cuts in their cost of living adjustments.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) just released the following statement denouncing this policy, saying he "staunchly" opposes it:
DEFAZIO: Throughout my time in Congress I have always fought to protect Social Security and Medicare from unfair ideologically based cuts. The fact the Social Security, which did not contribute to our fiscal troubles, is being discussed as part of the deficit negotiations is outrageous. I staunchly oppose the latest proposal to cut the Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLAs) by using the “chained CPI.” The current COLA formula already doesn’t reflect the rising costs of medications, food, and other good that seniors buy. The chained CPI would only make the problem worse. Using the chained CPI to calculate COLAs would cause the average senior to lose over $16,000 over 25 year retirement. Nearly 70 percent of Social Security beneficiaries depend on Social Security for at least half of their income. Social Security is the sole source of income for 15 percent of recipients . Asking these retirees on a fixed income to bear the brunt of reducing a deficit that they did not create is inappropriate and unacceptable.”
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