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Congressional Progressive Caucus Rallies to Divert Budget Axe from Social Security, Medicare

Growing speculation that GOP seeking way to end government shutdown and swing budget axe at entitlements

Oct. 7, 2013 – Among the organizations that see a possible shift in the Republican budget cutting target from Obamacare to the so-call “entitlements” – Social Security and Medicare – is the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which issued a statement demanding “that cuts to the Social Security benefits millions of Americans have earned are not put on the table to end the government shutdown.”

Last Thursday the CPC held a press conference, where 20 members of the CPC and Democratic Caucus were joined by retired Americans, the Alliance for Retired Americans, Social Security Works and National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

 

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Republicans Seem Ready to Shift Fight to Cutting Senior Entitlements

Speaker Boehner says on ABC that the fight in Washington is really about the growth in the senior citizen population… the important goal is reducing entitlement spending; may push for cuts that President Obama earlier suggested

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Oct. 6, 2013 – There are many who now say the real target of the Republicans in the current battle in Washington is not really Obamacare, it is entitlements, or, more specifically, Social Security and Medicare.


Read more on Politics for Senior Citizens

 

CPC Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the statement after the press conference.

The speculation seems to have shifted over the weekend, however, as more observers see the House Republicans finding a way to end the government shutdown caused by their demand that the national health plan known as “Obamacare” be defunded.

After that battle goes away, the next programs they are expected to target for their budget axe are Social Security and Medicare. A story in SeniorJournal.com on Sunday, October 6, pointed to several signs that this may be the new direction.

Following is text of the CPC statement.

“Social Security is a promise we must keep. The money our grandmothers, grandfathers, widows and children rely on should not be used as bargaining chips in any debate. Moving towards the new benefit calculation for Americans receiving Social Security, known as chained-CPI, will cost those on Social Security an average of $650 a year. For millions who depend on Social Security, a loss that large could force them to choose between rent and health care.

 “The average earned benefit for a 65 year old on Social Security is $14,800 a year. Moving to chained CPI will result in a $6,000 loss for retirees in the first fifteen years of retirement, adding up to a $16,000 loss over twenty-five years. This change would be devastating to beneficiaries, especially widowed women, more than a third of whom rely on the program for 90% of their income and use every single dollar of the Social Security checks they’ve earned.

 “Calculating benefits for Social Security beneficiaries with chained CPI isn’t a reform—it’s a benefit cut. Americans oppose cutting Social Security or shutting down the government to deny millions of Americans health care. They won’t be bullied into changing their minds, and neither will we.”

>> Congressional Progressive Caucus

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