WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos released the following statement saluting the Social Security program, which was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt 78 years ago today:
“For the past seventy-eight years, Social Security has lifted millions of seniors out of poverty and provided many more with the opportunity to live out their golden years with dignity. Along with Medicare, Social Security is absolutely vital to the well-being of the seniors I represent in Illinois. They have worked hard their entire lives, played by the rules and deserve the peace and security of knowing Social Security will be there for them when they retire. But Social Security must also be strong for future generations, and that is why I’ll continue to do my part to protect Social Security from privatization plans and attempts to switch to a chained CPI system that could lead to benefit cuts, so Social Security will be strong for the middle class for the next seventy-eight years and beyond.”
According to AARP’s Public Policy Institute, using chained CPI to replace the existing method of calculating Social Security benefits “would have a detrimental impact on the economic well-being of older and disabled Americans and their family members who receive benefits from Social Security.” Over time, these cuts could significantly reduce benefits for seniors – making it more difficult for those living on Social Security to make ends meet. According to the AARP, chained CPI would reduce the expected benefit increase each year, and reductions would grow larger over time.
In addition, AARP calculates that a 30-year-old veteran of the Iraq or Afghanistan war who has no children and is 100 percent disabled would likely lose about $100,000 in disability compensation by age 75 (calculated in today’s dollars), compared with benefits under the current cost-of-living formula. Over a 10-year period, 23 million veterans would lose $17 billion in compensation and pension benefits, according to AARP calculations.