To the editor:
With baby boomers - 10,000 people turning 65 every day - our nation should be doing everything possible to protect the pensions of those who have worked hard their entire adult lives and are counting on those benefits during their retirement years.
President Obama and Congress have proposed, as part of a budget deal, a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security, veterans benefits and other programs. The Chained Consumer Price Index would cut Social Security and veterans' benefits an estimated $127 billion over the next 10 years.
Unfortunately, the President and Congress are talking about making these harmful cuts as part of a deal to reduce the budget deficit. They are calling it the Chained Consumer Price Index. If this passes, it would change the way cost of living adjustments are determined, leaving many seniors struggling to keep up with the rising cost of groceries, health insurance, utility bills, etc.
As they get older the benefit cuts increase; as the cuts start now and increase every year.
Women would be hit especially hard by the new Chained CPI, as they typically live longer and those with low incomes rely more on the CCPI. Veterans would also be affected - those who have sacrificed so much for our country. Disabled veterans would particularly face deep cuts because of their benefits begin at a younger age and last for longer periods.
The CCPI is the wrong solution for senior and veterans. Please remember that Social Security is not the cause of our nation's large budget deficits. Social Security is a separate, self-funded entity. As such, it is an off budget program which is, again, self-funded.
It pays for itself. Any reduction in Social Security benefits does nothing to address the shortfall in the rest of the federal budget.