Like so many of my fellow Kossacks, I am dismayed and disheartened that Pres. Barack Obama is proposing a budget that includes cutting social security benefits by moving to the "chained CPI," a formula for reducing benefits by keeping increases below the rate of inflation. A Democratic president who spoke of the "audacity of hope" is now striking a blow against the jewel of the New Deal and attacking America's most successful social program?
We must not let this happen. One way this mutant radioactive monster of an idea can be stopped dead in its tracks is if enough true Democrats in the Senate (and any Republicans who care about senior citizens?) band together and just say "NO!". So it's truly important that we all take the time to contact our senators and let them know where we stand.
I contacted my senators (Mikulski and Cardin / Maryland) a few days back, let them know my thoughts on this devastating idea, and implored them to please oppose it. Last night I received a response from Sen. Mikulski. Follow me below the fold, where her eloquent words will speak for themselves.
Sen. Mikulski's response to my message:
Dear Mr. Gleim:Thank you, Sen. Mikulski!! This response gives me hope that there may be enough opposition in the Senate to prevent any unwarranted cuts to Social Security. We'll see. If you haven't yet contacted your senators, what are you waiting for?
Thank you for contacting me about Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. It's good to hear from you.
I share your concerns about reducing Social Security benefits for retirees by using a "chained-CPI" to determine cost-of-living-adjustments.
The "chained-CPI" assumes consumers will substitute lower-cost items for what they normally purchase. The "chained-CPI" is wrong because seniors have costs like prescription drugs and visits to the doctor that often don't have lower-cost alternatives.
I consider Social Security to be a profound commitment made by our government to millions of Americans who have played by the rules and contributed to the success of this country.
Americans who have paid a portion of their salaries into Social Security over their lifetimes depend on it when they retire. Promises made must be promises kept. Social Security is not the cause of the budget deficit and should not be harmed in the name of deficit reduction.
I strongly believe that Congress must not balance its budget on the backs of seniors. That's why I've spoken on the Senate floor against "chained CPI" and joined my colleagues in sending a letter to Senate leadership opposing these harmful cuts to Social Security benefits.
You'll be glad to know, that "chained CPI" was not included in the bipartisan fiscal cliff agreement. I want you to know that I will continue to work hard to protect Social Security from any possible cuts. Rest assured that your concerns are my own.
Again, thanks for contacting me. Please let me know if I can be of help to you in the future.
Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator
When/if I receive a response from Sen. Cardin I'll post it here.
Keep up the good fight.