Yesterday the AFL-CIO learned President Obama's budget will cut Social Security and Medicare benefits for working families. The so-called "chained" CPI will cut Social Security benefits and middle-income seniors (people who made $47,000 a year and more) will be asked to pay higher Medicare premiums.
Not only do the majority of America's workers across the political spectrum oppose benefit cuts to the social insurance system, this is bad policy that will slow economic recovery even further.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the "chained" CPI is wrong-headed policy.
Millions of Americans remain out of work and the job market is especially devastating for young people. Young people ages 20-24 are facing 13.3% unemployment rates. Without the prospect of good jobs in their early and crucial earning years, these young people will bear the cost of these proposed cuts in Social Security.
In a time of rampant income inequality and stagnant wages, a blow to retirement security is the last thing we need.
It's unconscionable we're asking seniors, people with disabilities and veterans to be squeezed of every last penny when corporations and the wealthiest 2% are not paying their fair share of taxes, despite soaring profits.
This year alone, the job-killing sequester will cost 750,000 people their jobs. We need to invest in America's workers, not pull the rug out from under them.
The "chained" CPI is based on a fraudulent premise - that the CPI is rising faster than the actual cost of living experienced by seniors, veterans and millions of other vulnerable citizens living on meager incomes. In fact, because seniors in particular have limited flexibility and spend a disproportionate share of their income on health care, they tend to experience more rapid inflation than the general population.
"Chained" CPI also hits the vulnerable people in the country—people with disabilities who get long-term Social Security benefits and women, because they live longer.
America elected President Obama to protect us from bad Washington ideas like "chained" CPI, not to advocate for them.