President Obama will hear a straightforward and simple message from more than 2 million people today responding to reports that his budget will include cuts to Social Security and Medicare:
The 'Chained' CPI is a benefit cut to a program that does not contribute to the deficit. Do not barter it away in the name of deficit reduction. Stand strongly against all cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
That message is being delivered this afternoon (watch the live stream in this blog post, which will begin at noon EDT) by representatives of family, health, union, retiree, community, religious and other groups who will take more than 2 million petition signatures to the White House gates following a rally in Lafayette Park across Pennsylvania Avenue.
Damon Silvers, director of policy and special counsel for the AFL-CIO, who will speak at the rally, says:
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.
"Chained" CPI (cost-of-living index) is a cost-of-living formula that most economists say will result in painful benefit cuts to Social Security beneficiaries. Says Silvers:
'Chained' CPI is a Social Security benefit cut, plain and simple. One of the key things that make Social Security a real provider of economic security is that it has a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that protects the value of benefits as time passes. 'Chained' CPI is a Washington trick to cut the COLA by changing the way inflation is calculated.