Cumulative benefits would be cut by $4,631 -- more than three months of benefits -- by age 75; $13,910 -- nearly a year of benefits - by age 85; and $28,004 -- more than a year and a half of benefits -- by age 95. And the average disabled veteran would lose tens of thousands of dollars.
4. The chained CPI isn't fair, either.
While its adherents claim that it's a "more accurate" measurement of the cost of living, it is actually less fair than the current calculations -- and even they understate the cost-of-living increases which these populations face every year.
Items such as health care and transportation, which the disabled and seniors rely upon more than that average American, are rising in cost at a faster rate.
5. The cuts to Medicaid and Medicare are both inhumane and cumbersome.
As Robert Reich notes, both the President and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have proposed means-testing Medicare. That would add a cumbersome new layer of enrollment processing, not unlike that which has made "Healthcare.gov" rollout so difficult. What's more, this mechanism could quickly be used to deny coverage to millions of middle-class Americans.
(The Concord Coalition, a billionaire-backed lobbying organization, was one of the first groups to propose means-testing. They recommended that means-tested benefit cuts begin at a lifetime average earning level of only $20,000 per year. Even if these reductions are modest at first, they're unlikely to stay that way.)
Means-testing Medicare doesn't even make much sense. The program's costs are driven by the cost of medical care. But addressing that cost means confronting the large corporations who are increasingly dominating our country's medical delivery system, warping decisions about fees and treatment to maximize profits.
Apparently it's easier just to take the money from the middle class.
Meanwhile, indiscriminate cuts to Medicare and Medicaid are likely to make it even more difficult for enrollees in these programs to find doctors and hospitals who will treat them. Yes, these programs have long-term cost concerns. But they've done a much better job of managing both costs and medical inflation than private health insurance does. It makes no sense to impose draconian cuts in programs which are more efficient than their private-sector counterparts.
6. Millennials are already getting a raw deal. This would make it worse.
Today's high levels of Millennial unemployment isn't just hurting them today. Studies show that people who start their working-age careers with a period of unemployment will earn less throughout their entire working lifetimes. And lower lifetime earnings, in turn, lead to lower Social Security benefits.
What's more, many Millennials are saddled with excessive college debts. The financial website Nerdwallet estimates that these debts will force Millennials to work until they are 73 years old on average. We don't know whether that's true or not, although the methodology looks good, but we do know that they don't need to experience a Social Security benefit cut when they finally do reach retirement. The miserly policies of their elders have already damaged them enough.
7. In a democracy, the people -- not corporations are billionaires -- are supposed to decide.
Billionaires like Pete Peterson and Stanley Druckenmiller, on the other hand, have not paid their fair share in taxes. Nor have corporations like the ones whose CEOs are publicly supporting the Peterson-created Fix the Debt lobbying campaign.
And yet Peterson, Druckenmiller and Wall Street CEOs like Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein are insisting that Americans on Medicaid, along with our seniors and disabled people, bear the brunt of budget cuts so that they don't have to pay more in taxes.