(Washington, D.C.) Various news outlets are reporting that President Obama plans to propose cuts to Social Security benefits during deficit-reduction negotiations with congressional leaders today. The following is a statement from Eric Kingson, Co-Chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, about those reports:
Click here for a pdf of the complete press release, or continue reading below.
“If true, President Obama’s proposal to cut Social Security benefits represents a betrayal of America’s seniors, people with disabilities and their families. The President and his top officials have stated that Social Security is not the cause of the federal deficit. That is true, and that is why cuts to Social Security benefits should not be part of any deficit-reduction deal.
“The President has said that cuts to Social Security benefits should not put current retirees at risk and that he will not slash benefits for tomorrow’s beneficiaries. These promises are being broken if, as has been reported, the President is considering Social Security COLA cuts. This would be done by changing the formula used to calculate the annual COLA to the so-called chained CPI. This technical change is just a sneaky way to cut the benefits people have earned – whether they receive Social Security now or in the future. After ten years average retiree benefits will be cut by about $600 a year, and after 20 years they will be cut by about $1,000 a year. [See analysis here]
“There’s no way to sugar coat a sneak attack on everyone’s COLA. Money would be ripped out of the pockets of millions of vulnerable Americans. Women, low-income and very old retirees would be hit hardest. Social Security benefits are modest, averaging just $13,000 a year, and today’s COLA does not adequately take into account the disproportionate impact of rising health care costs on seniors and people with disabilities. Social Security’s COLA should be increased, not cut.”
More information about Social Security COLA cuts is available here
. Below are recent statements from President Obama and his Director of the Office of Management and Budget:
“While Social Security is not the cause of our deficit, it faces real long-term challenges in a country that is growing older. As I said in the State of the Union, both parties should work together now to strengthen Social Security for future generations. But we must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.”
“Specifically, looking to the next two decades, Social Security does not cause our deficits.
Social Security benefits are entirely self-financing. They are paid for with payroll taxes collected from workers and their employers throughout their careers. These taxes are placed in a trust fund dedicated to paying benefits owed to current and future beneficiaries … The problem is not Social Security; the problem is the mismatch between outlays and revenues in the rest of the budget. Closing that gap and paying down our debt will take tough choices, and the president's budget makes them. Strengthening Social Security is an important, but parallel, issue that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. But let's not confuse it as either the cause of or a solution to our short-term fiscal problems.” “If true, President Obama’s proposal to cut Social Security benefits represents a betrayal of America’s seniors, people with disabilities and their families. The President and his top officials have stated that Social Security is not the cause of the federal deficit. That is true, and that is why cuts to Social Security benefits should not be part of any deficit-reduction deal.
Bookmark/Search this post with