We are pleased to see people protesting the threatened cuts to Social Security. And, we are pleased that some are beginning to advocate for what is really needed, a significant increase in how much money Social Security recipients receive. The retirement system in the United States used to be a three-legged stool, but changes in the economy have destroyed two of those legs for the vast majority of seniors. There are no more pensions and most people cannot save enough for retirement. These changes are changes in the economy, not the fault of workers. That leaves the majority of seniors relying solely on Social Security, with its meager $12,000 annual income. This only ensures poverty retirement, not retirement security. Doubling the Social Security payments would not only lift millions out of poverty, it would relieve families of unfair economic burdens and would be a major stimulus to the economy since retirees would spend the additional money.
Activists Hold White House Protest to End Chained CPI Proposal
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
While some in Washington may have given up on a so-called “grand bargain,” many others including the White House, have left benefit cuts to millions of seniors, veterans and people with disabilities on the budget bargaining table. Contrary to claims by Chained CPI proponents, this change to the annual COLA calculation is not a “technical tweak” but a benefit cut for the oldest and most vulnerable Americans who would be least able to afford it. Additionally, recent research by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation, in consultation with economist Dean Baker, shows that adoption of the Chained CPI could cut $31 billion in economic output and more than 200,000 jobs nationwide.
Activists from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, AARP, NOW, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Generations United, NARFE, SocialSecurity Works and other advocacy groups converged on the White House to tell President Obama “No” to the chained CPI. Protestors with signs illustrating the negative economic impact in each of the nation’s 50 states plus Washington, D.C. rallied along Pennsylvania Avenue and were joined by Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5) and Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-2).
“The coalition here today is diverse, strong and unified in our opposition to SocialSecurity benefit cuts like those that would come with the Chained CPI. Groups here today represent not just seniors but also young people, veterans, civilians, people with disabilities and middle class families. We’re all here together to say the negative impact of the Chained CPI should not be ignored or trivialized any longer. The White House and others have said this benefit cut is nothing more than a “technical tweak,”…but the truth is it would be a benefit cut imposed on the oldest and most vulnerable Americans who would be least able to afford it.” Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO.