Now that Boehner's Plan B has failed, the only thing on the table is President Obama's debt reduction plan - the one that includes reducing social security benefits by tying future cost of living increases to chained CPI. The failure of Plan B might actually move the Obama proposal forward, which would be terrible for low-income seniors. Speaker Pelosi has already announced that she can support it, even going so far as to claim that it isn't a benefit cut. Shame on her. That means we the voters and we the activists must make sure our voices are heard. I'm sending the following message to Congressman Tonko and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand. I hope folks who read this will consider sending similar messages to their representatives.
Please do not vote for any debt reduction plan that ties Social Security cost of living increases to chained CPI. My understanding is that this change would reduce the anticipated federal debt by $100 billion over 10 years - $10 billion a year. While this would be a very small part of the overall debt reduction package, it would be a very big deal for seniors who rely solely or primarily on Social Security. Too many seniors have already reduced their personal spending to bare-bones levels and even with those reductions still face the dilemma of spending their last few monthly dollars on food or on heat. They cannot afford to fall further behind the rate of inflation and see their monthly benefits cover even less of their expenses. With so many other ways to save $10 billion a year without hurting low-income senior citizens, why would my representative choose to go along with this one? My fervent hope is that you will not. Please vote no to any package that includes this unjust attack on some of our economically most vulnerable.