December 2012, Week 3


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Wed, 19 Dec 2012 22:11:52 -0500
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John Lewis Slams Obama’s Fiscal Cliff Proposal to Cut Social Security

By Lauren Victoria Burke
Crew of 42
December 19, 2012

Rep. John Lewis quickly came out in opposition against
President Obama’s latest fiscal cliff proposal which
included a cut to Social Security.

“After seniors suffered through two years during some
of the roughest economic times in recent American
history without seeing a Cost of Living Increase, there
are some suggesting a significant change to the formula
used to calculate cost of living adjustments for Social
Security beneficiaries.  An obscure term is being used
to refer to this cut—“the chained Consumer Price Index
or chained CPI”.

What it means is that all current and future retirees
receiving Social Security, including veterans and the
disabled, would see a dramatic cut to their current and
future benefits, and the cuts would compound over time.
So for example, if the average Social Security
beneficiary receives about $14000 yearly, then this cut
to the COLA would represent a $653 loss by the time a
retiree is age 75, a $1139 cut by age 85, and a $1611
cut by age 95, according to the Social Security
Administration’s figures released in September of this
year.  Rep. John Lewis was deeply disturbed by this

“The people of this nation are depending upon us to be
true to our word,” said Rep. John Lewis.  “I don’t know
how many members ran on a promise not to cut Social
Security.  Now, without any hard proposal to raise
taxes on the rich, some are using Social Security as a
carrot to get a deal.  We cannot, and we must not play
with the lives of senior citizens.  People work hard in
America, and they deserve to retire with dignity.  The
reward of their hard work should not be a significant
reduction in resources the longer they live and the
more vulnerable they become.  Something is wrong with
this equation.

“Social Security is solvent.  It is insurance citizens
have paid into in good faith.  They have honored their
commitment, and the federal government should honor its
commitment.  We should not tolerate cuts to Social
Security.  It is a sacred trust that should not be
violated, not a piggybank used to fix fiscal problems.

“Democrats have made concessions in these negotiations.
We created $492 billion in Medicare savings, and in
prior negotiations around the nation’s fiscal problems
we offered another $300 billion in cuts.  We have done
our part.  Why can’t Republicans do theirs?  Why can’t
they simply put tax increases on the table that they
would vote for, instead of requiring us to cut the
sick, the veterans, the seniors, and the orphans until
it hurts. This is not right.  It is not fair or just
negotiation.  We should not offer more concessions.  We
should demand solutions in light of the concessions we
have already made.”


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