Oct. 13, 2013 – One of the most strident opponents
of changing the consumer price index used to calculate the annual
cost-of-living adjustment for those on Social Security is The National
Committee. It released a study earlier this month on the potential
impact with the headline, “…Billions of Dollars and Hundreds of
Thousands of Jobs Would Be Lost While Seniors, Veterans and Disabled Put
at Risk.” The group’s news release called it a “startling” report.
Yesterday, it released a list of sources for information about the
controversial chained CPI, a creation of the Obama administration to
slow the long-term cost of Social Security through slower growth in the
The debate over the proposed chained CPI has heated
up in recent weeks as increasing number of senior citizen advocates
worry the Republicans will shift their attack on government spending
from Obamacare to the senior entitlement programs – Social Security and
The National Committee is a shorter named used by
the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM).
It was founded in 1982 by former Congressman James Roosevelt, son of
President Franklin D. Roosevelt who signed the Social Security Act into
media reports say focus of White House is to strike a ‘Grand Bargain’
with Republicans who want to change Medicare into a voucher-style
system; Medicare proposal has one revenue item - higher premiums
for couples making more than $170,000 a year - April 11, 2013
The recent report from The National Committee
details, state by state and Congressional District by District, the true
economic impact of adopting this new formula, called the “Chained CPI,”
to measure annual cost-of-living adjustments.
“While some in Washington portray this benefit cut
as nothing more than a ‘technical tweak’ the truth is it would be a
benefit cut imposed on the oldest and most vulnerable Americans who
would be least able to afford it,” says the news release introducing the
The report by the National Committee to Preserve
Social Security and Medicare Foundation, in consultation with economist
Dean Baker, Co-Director Center for Economic and Policy Research is
“The Chained CPI: Shackling America’s Economic Recovery,”
andprovides a detailed look at what the adoption of a
“stingier” cost of living adjustment really means for communities and
“The negative impact of the Chained CPI should not
be ignored or trivialized. This new analysis clearly illustrates just
how harmful this COLA cut will be to seniors as well as state economies
and local businesses,” says Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO.
Economist Baker adds, “Social Security plays an
enormously important role in stabilizing the economy during a downturn.
It maintains a flow of income to a group of people (the elderly and
disabled) who will overwhelmingly spend it. In this way it sustains
demand and consumption. The downturn we have seen since 2007 would have
undoubtedly been far more severe without Social Security altogether. Any
measure that reduces benefits would lessen the stabilizing role that
Social Security plays.”
The study uses CBO projections to
calculate state and Congressional district level impact of the Chained
CPI proposal. Many districts with large senior populations would be
especially hard-hit by the Chained CPI cuts, top among those:
► In Pennsylvania’s 12th
congressional district, a largely rural area in the southwest corner of
the states, the benefit cuts would be $5.0 million in 2015, $44.9
million in 2020, and $71.3 million in 2023. This would imply a loss of
output in the district of $7.2 million in 2015, $65.2 million in 2020,
and $103.3 million in 2023. The implied job loss would be 60 in 2015,
440 in 2020, and 630 in 2023.
► In Florida’s 16th
congressional district, which includes Sarasota and other cities along
the Gulf Coast, the benefit cuts would be $6.1 million in 2015, $53.3
million in 2020, and $87.7 million in 2023. This would imply a loss of
output in the district of $8.9 million in 2015, $80.2 million in 2020,
and $127.2 million in 2023. The implied job loss would be 70 in 2015,
550 in 2020, and 780 in 2023.
The National Committee Foundation says its mission
is to “protect, promote, and ensure the financial security, health, and
well being of current and future generations of older Americans through
research, analysis, and public education, “ according to NCPSSM Board
Chair, Dr. Caroll L. Estes, Ph.D.
The National Committee, claims to be one of the
most effective and trustworthy sources for Social Security, Medicare and
Medicaid advocacy. Since 1982, we have been working for generations of
older Americans who want our nation’s health and income security
programs secured for the future. Join us and learn more about how you
can be a part of our intergenerational crusade.
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