Chained CPI Chains Seniors to Poverty
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 20, 2012) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today strongly objected to a proposal to cut Social Security benefits. The White House suggested a reduction in Social Security to cut costs as part of the so-called "fiscal cliff" negotiations. The proposal called the "Chained Consumer Price Index" would result in a reduction of benefits for Social Security recipients even though Social Security does not contribute to the debt and should not be part of debt reduction negotiations.
"Will Seniors be pushed off the "fiscal cliff'? Social Security did not cause the deficit, but the White House's plan to lower Social Security cost-of-living benefits could eventually reduce Seniors' annual benefits by hundreds of dollars. The gimmick is called the "Chained Consumer Price Index.' The Chained C.P.I. works this way: As the cost-of-living goes up, seniors inevitably turn to cheaper alternatives.
"For example, if seniors usually eat steak but then can't afford its higher price, they can switch to something cheaper, like cat food- - and the cost-of-living calculation would be "chained' to the cheaper item - - cat food. So, the less you pay for food the less benefits you get. The "chained CPI' benefit cut will chain aging seniors to a poverty of choices, a lower standard of living, with cheaper products.
"The chained CPI formula doesn't take into account seniors' rising health care costs. If it did benefits would go up. There is no justification to cut Social Security benefits. No to throwing seniors off the fiscal cliff. No to a Cat Food Christmas."