Citizens protest proposed cuts in Social Security

Citizens gathered in front of the White House November 14 to protest proposed cuts in Social Security and other government benefits that would affect people with disabilities, retired people and veterans.

The cuts are on the table during current Congressional budget talks. The proposed cuts come in the form of changing the way annual cost-of-living adjustments are calculated. The proposed measure, known as “chained CPI,” in reference to the consumer price index, would result in smaller annual increases in benefits. The cost-of-living increase for 2014, under the current measure, is 1.5 percent, which does not keep up with increases in medical and housing costs nationwide. Chained CPI would result in an even lower annual increase.

The demonstrators and their supporters in Congress have pointed out that another proposed measure for cost-of-living increases, known as Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, or CPI-E, more accurately reflects the cost of living for elderly and disabled people, because it accounts for the cost of items such as prescription medications. Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa has proposed using CPI-E, which would result in an increase in Social Security benefits. The demonstrators at the White House noted that President Obama’s budget proposal included the chained CPI measure, which would cut benefits.

For more information, visit the website of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.