Statement on White House Press Briefing Response to Proposed Inclusion of ‘Chained CPI’ on Budget Bargaining Table
By Mel Fabrikant Monday, February 11, 2013, 04:01 PM EST
Administration Press Secretary, Jay Carney, addressed the White House press corps today from the briefing room and was asked a question about the proposed COLA cut that has been on the negotiating table between the President and Republicans for more than a year. The COLA cut has an obscure name: “chained-CPI”, but does real damage. It changes the formula used to calculate the COLA, thereby reducing earned benefits. The following is a statement from the co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition and the co-director of Social Security Works
“President Obama's Press Secretary, Jay Carney, just telegraphed again that the White House is willing to put Social Security's cost of living adjustments on the chopping block, even though doing so will not reduce the federal debt by a penny. How unfortunate it is that the White House, in the name of fairness and balance, seems to feel it's a badge honor to inflict such painful cuts on the old and many others. We need the White House to stand up for the middle class, not recklessly propose painful cuts for all of today's and tomorrow's veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities. We need the White House to remind members of Congress that they need to keep their promises to today's seniors and people with disabilities, not to invite members to violate their promises that they would not cut Social Security for older workers, seniors and people with disabilities. We need the White House to be courageous, to acknowledge its mistake, and to state clearly that it is taking the ‘chained-CPI’ and all Social Security benefit cuts off the table."
-Eric Kingson, founding co-director of Social Security Works-
"Unlike the president, the Senate Democrats reportedly oppose the chained-CPI and indeed all cuts to Social Security as part of a deficit package that is the right policy. Social Security does not add a penny to the nation's debt; in fact, it is a creditor of the government reducing the necessity to borrow from the public. Moreover, the chained-CPI is a disguised benefit cut. If enacted, the chained-CPI would provide an even less accurate measure than current law of the inflation experienced by seniors and people with disabilities. The very groups that voted in large numbers for the president are the very people who will be most hurt by the benefit cut. Women will be disproportionately hurt, as will Hispanics and African Americans who disproportionately rely on Social Security. The chained-CPI for Social Security should be a nonstarter."
-Nancy Altman, founding co-director of Social Security Works-
Social Security Works is the lead group in the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, a coalition comprised of more than 320 national and state organizations representing more than 50 million Americans from many of the nation’s leading aging, labor, disability, women’s, children, consumer, civil rights and equality organizations.