The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a good reminder in advance of a House Budget Committee hearing on poverty, and with President Obama's renewed focus on middle-class opportunities. Without public assistance programs including Social Security, 40 million more people, including 9 million children, would be living in poverty now.
Republicans and the White House both agree on proposals to cut Social Security known as chained CPI, referring to reduced payments to beneficiaries because of how annual cost-of-living adjustments are calculated. And the two sides seem to be on the same page regarding reducing benefits that wealthy seniors now receive from entitlement programs, a proposal known as means testing.The chained CPI wouldn't just hit senior citizens, but also children, those who receive direct survivors benefits and who are in families with parents or guardians who receive disability payments. More than four million children live in households receiving Social Security payments.
This is a benefit cut millions of Americans, and thus the national as a whole, just can't afford to make. If President Obama and the Congress really want to save the middle class, they should be strengthening programs that keep people out of poverty, starting with Social Security.
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