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.
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
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.
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.”
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