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Chained CPI would hurt Social Security recipients

As a senior citizen, I am continually perplexed at the constant assault on Social Security. This program is the most successful safety net in the nations’ history. Social Security has never failed to deliver in more than 70 years and has raised hundreds of millions of our elderly, widowed and disabled from the depths of poverty.

Over the last decade, there was a serious attempt to privatize Social Security. The significant reversals in the stock market seem to have quelled that proposal.

The latest challenge suggests we change the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) to a chained consumer price index (CPI). A chained CPI would mean an immediate benefit cut for Social Security recipients and incremental diminishments into the future.

The current COLA is not enough. For starters, it does not accurately account for large health care increases faced by seniors and people with disabilities. Additionally, the argument to change the COLA allowance is bogus because Social Security and its costs are not funded out of the federal budget.

All patriotic Americans should be concerned with our nation’s deficit. A judicious first step would be a serious examination of tax avoidance by corporations. Don’t attempt to correct faulty fiscal policy on the backs of seniors, whose modest Social Security averages only $13,000 a year.

Stephen J. Muscarella

President, Public Employee

Federation Retirees, Buffalo Chapter