Yesterday, a group of progressive organizations along with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and representatives from various states delivered petitions to the White House holding more than two million signatures.
That was in opposition to President Barack Obama proposing in his 2014 budget that goes to Congress today that the method of calculating cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries, certain veterans, certain disabled people and some others be changed to chained CPI.
This method of inflation calculation, if adopted, would reduce the cost-of living adjustment (COLA). The amount doesn't seem like much at first but it is cumulative and here is a chart from Strengthen Social Security showing the results over time:
AARP recently conducted a national poll of people age 50 and older about switching inflation measurement to chained CPI. Here are some of the results [emphasis is mine]:
“Seven in ten voters 50+ (70%) oppose changing the way the Social Security cost of living adjustment is calculated (75% Democrat, 63% Republican, 69% Independent)”.
”Almost eight in ten voters age 50+ (78%) oppose changing the way the cost of living adjustment is calculated for retired and disabled veterans’ benefits (80% Democrat, 72% Republican, 79% Independent).”
Well, you know all this stuff. I have been carrying on here about chained CPI since President Obama first announced he supports it last summer. While I believe we must try every possible way to influence Washington to do the right thing, right now I don't think Obama will be much impressed with yesterday's White House demonstration.
There is a better chance with Congress. That's why I am participating in today's National Congressional Call-In Day organized by National Committee to Preserve Social and Medicare (NCPSSM) and other progressive organizations.
The idea is to flood Congress with calls today so please join us - it will take only a few minutes. Call your representatives and tell them this:
“Social Security doesn’t contribute to the deficit and Americans of all parties oppose cutting benefits earned by middle-class families. The chained CPI isn’t a 'tweak,' it’s a benefit cut America’s retirees, veterans and the disabled simply cannot afford.”WE WILL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER
You can also tell them that come the 2014 election, you will not forget if they vote for chained CPI.
Progressive organizations are already preparing for primary challenges against senators and representatives who vote to support cuts to Social Security.
The NCPSSM has a toll-free number that will connect you to the offices of your Congressional representatives:
Alternately, you can call Capitol switchboard directly and ask for your representative's or senators' offices:
And Firedoglake has posted a handy pulldown menu with the direct telephone number of every member of Congress - senators and representatives - listed alphabetically by state. There is even a script to read if you want to use it.
We defeated President George Bush's attempt to privatize Social Security in 2005, and we can defeat this president's push to cut Social Security payments. If you have the time, stop back here after you've called and let us know how it went.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Joyce Benedict: Nature Answers My Question