President Obama has endorsed a plan to cut Social Security benefits through a so-called a�?chained CPI.a�? Today,A�Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), A�the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued a statement saying he would “never support” the chained CPI, which is the cornerstone of the Obama deal’s changes to Social Security. Herea��s his full statement:
a�?Federal law has always prohibited Social Security from contributing to the deficit. Any talk of shrinking the program to a�?save moneya�� is flawed from the start because Social Security is not part of the national budget in the same way as military spending a�� ita��s paid for through a dedicated payroll tax separate from general budgeting.
a�?Some have suggested that Social Security benefits should be based on a chained Consumer Price Index (CPI), which assumes that when the price of one item rises, people buy something else a�� no matter how popular or necessary that original item might be. If this change goes into effect, Social Security benefits would stop reflecting the rising prices of popular goods.
a�?The average Social Security recipient rakes in a whopping $13,000 a year. If we pass chained CPI, projected annual cuts for a typical retiree would be about $560 a year by age 75, $984 a year by age 85 and $1,400 a year by age 95.
a�?The less money our Social Security recipients a�� including 9 million veterans a�� are able to spend, the less money goes to the businesses that create jobs.A�Chained CPI makes life harder for millions of retirees, weakens Social Security and doesna��t reduce the deficit by a penny. Ita��s a Beltway fig leaf that I will never support, and I call on my colleagues to make their feelings known as soon as possible before this becomes yet another piece of conventional wisdom that makes things worse.
a�?Lifting the cap on high earners paying into Social Security is a real fix that would make the program solvent indefinitely. If we want to talk about solutions, leta��s talk about that, not inventing reasons to take money from American retirees.a�?
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