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Social Security News

Chained CPI May Reduce Your Retirement Income; Social Security Advocates Stir Opposition

National Committee, a leader in battle against chained CPI to determine social security COLA, issues study on detrimental impact, provides informational sources

National group provides links to more information about chained CPI

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 COLA.

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 Medicare.

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 law.


Related Archived Stories


No COLA for Seniors on Social Security: Government Shutdown Delays Calculation

Oct. 10, 2013

Senior Citizen League Projecting Small 1.5% COLA for Social Security in 2014

SSA should make it official on October 15, after September CPI is calculated; advocates keeping close eye on chained CPI proposed by Obama, CPI for elderly ignored for years

By Tucker Sutherland, editor,

Oct. 3, 2013

Chained CPI Affects More Than Social Security COLA, Seniors Would Get Less, Pay More

The Seniors Citizens League (TSCL) continues to be an unrelenting fighter to preserve Social Security and the cost-of-living allowance now in place - COLA for 2014 should be announced this month

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

Oct. 2, 2013

Long-Term Survival of Social Security Unchanged in Latest Trustee Report

Downhill slide will begin with 2021; depleted in 2033

June 3, 2013

First Public Hearing Underway on Chained CPI Proposed to Slow Future COLA for Senior Citizens

Republican chair of House Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security issued news release blasting Treasury secretary; in opening says reducing COLA only would be called ‘benefit cut’ in Washington

April 18, 2013

Ways and Means Draws Bead on Medicare Cuts, Chained CPI to Limit COLA for Social Security

HHS Secretary Sebelius in witness chair today on total budget for HHS, CMS with Social Security proposal the target this Thursday

April 12, 2013

Obama Says Budget Proposal Offers ‘Manageable’ Curbs on Medicare Cost, Social Security Benefits

Most 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

How Chained Consumer Price Index Proposed by Obama Works to Curb Social Security Benefits

Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a Q&A about inflation calculation that will slow cost-of-living adjustments for senior citizens

April 11, 2013

Reporters Dig Into Obama Budget and Find Other Proposals that May Impact Seniors

More spending on Medicaid, mental health; replacing current formula for Medicare pay to doctors

April 11, 2013

Congress Could Lose Older Voters by  Cutting Social Security, Medicare, Vets Benefits: AARP Poll

Senior advocates seem solid in opposition to cuts expected to appear Wednesday in President Obama’s budget; Congressional call-in on Wednesday

April 8, 2013

Read more Social Security News

also check Medicare and Senior Politics


The White House has been quiet about the chained CPI, since the first weeks of its introduction, when it was universally opposed by senior citizen advocacy groups.

(For more about the consumer price index and how it is used to determine the annual cost-of-living adjustment: Chained CPI Affects More Than Social Security COLA, Seniors Would Get Less, Pay More.)

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 report.

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 entitled, “The Chained CPI: Shackling America’s Economic Recovery,” and provides a detailed look at what the adoption of a “stingier” cost of living adjustment really means for communities and states. 

“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. 

A full breakdown of the economic and employment impact of the Chained CPI, by state and each Congressional District, can be found on the National Committee Foundation’s website.

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.

About The Committee

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.

More About The National Committee on its website


Oct. 13, 2013 -

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