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House Republicans Propose Benefit Cuts for Seniors, Veterans and the Disabled

Social Security Subcommittee Draft Legislation Cuts Social Security Benefits through the Chained CPI

Draft legislative language released by the House Social Security Subcommittee today would cut benefits for millions of middle-class and poor Americans still struggling in this economy. Contrary to claims by some in Washington, the chained CPI is not a 'technical tweak,' and no amount of rationalization can make it so. In reality, the chained CPI is a benefit cut for the oldest and most vulnerable Americans who would be least able to afford it.

Cutting benefits by adopting the chained CPI would cut the COLA by 3% for workers retired for ten years and 6% for workers retired for twenty years. This cut targets both current and future retirees. Three years after enactment, this translates to a benefit cut of $130 per year in Social Security benefits for a typical 65 year-old. The cumulative cut for that individual would be $4,631 or more than three months of benefits by age 75. While supporters claim the chained CPI is more accurate; you have to ask yourself, if this chained CPI really is more accurate, then why the need to offer an incremental benefit “bump” to some beneficiaries?  The answer is simple. The chained CPI does not accurately measure these groups’ expenses; in fact, it makes most of the same errors as the current formula and adds a few.  Adoption of this new formula is really about cutting benefits and raising taxes on average Americans to reduce the deficit. 

While supporters, including the White House, have attempted to wrap this benefit cut in promises to ‘preserve or protect’ Social Security, the stark truth is it’s actually a direct assault on the safety net millions of middle-class and poor seniors and their families depend on.”  Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO



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