26 Oct 2011

Perry’s Social Security Plan: A “Monstrous Lie”

A few weeks after calling Social Security a “Ponzi scheme,” Rick Perry claims he has just the plan to save the program. That is nothing but a monstrous lie. In fact, Perry’s Social Security plan is a smorgasbord of awful Social Security ideas that conservatives have proposed over the years.

21 Sep 2011

Sanders Bill “Goes Big” for Social Security

The Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act, S.1558, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), strengthens Social Security for future generations without cutting benefits. The bill “goes big” for the nation’s most important pension, life and disability insurance plan. Before we get into the details of the Sanders bill, though, it

13 Sep 2011

Super Committee Sets Sights on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

The Super Committee held its first public hearing today, the subject of which was the “History and Drivers of Our Nation’s Debt and Its Threats.” The responses of the Super Committee’s members to the testimony of Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf showed bipartisan consensus in favor of cutting

30 Aug 2011

Perry’s Iowa Remarks Reveal Republican Strategy on Social Security

The media have portrayed Governor Rick Perry’s description of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” at a recent Iowa campaign event as the latest extreme statement of an unconventionally candid, conservative presidential candidate. But Perry’s full remarks reveal just as much about the Republican Party’s strategy for cutting Social Security

15 Aug 2011

President’s Town Hall Remarks on Social Security Contradict Current Policies

President Obama said that Social Security is not an “entitlement,” or a “driver of the deficit or debt,” at a Minnesota Town Hall meeting on Monday. Then why is he allowing a Super Committee charged with deficit reduction to address Social Security? “Not an Entitlement” At the town hall meeting

12 Aug 2011

Top Veterans’ Groups to White House: Chained CPI Would Mean “Real Sacrifice” for Veterans

Eight leading veterans’ groups sent letters to President Obama, and members of the House and Senate this week, urging them not to adopt the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) for determining cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for Social Security and VA benefits. The letters relied on information from a new analysis by

20 Jul 2011

Gang of Six Would Raise Taxes on Low-Income Workers

The chained Consumer Price Index (CPI), a provision included in the Gang of Six’s deficit reduction package, raises taxes on low- and moderate-income workers, according to a recent report by the Joint Committee on Taxation. This belies the claim that the harm done to the middle class by the chained

14 Jul 2011

Social Security COLA Cut Will Drive African American Women Into Poverty

Views expressed are those of the author, and do not reflect the views of Social Security Works or the Strengthen Social Security Campaign.

The chained CPI, a Social Security COLA cut on the table in deficit talks between the President and Republicans, could dramatically worsen poverty among unmarried senior African American women. As such, it violates the request of major progressive organizations in a letter to the White House and Congressional leaders to “make sure that deficit reduction is achieved in a way that does not increase poverty.

According to the National Women’s Law Center’s analysis of Current Population Survey data, in their report on how the chained CPI would affect women, the median annual Social Security benefit for a 65-year-old single African American woman is $10,680. (By contrast, the median benefit for all single senior women is $13,200.)

That puts the median benefit for African American woman seniors just above the 2010 poverty line for individual seniors, which is an obscenely low $10,458.

Which brings us to the chained CPI (consumer price index), an obscure change to the COLA formula that would cut benefits more with each passing year. If the chained CPI were adopted, by age 70—after just five years of collecting Social Security benefits—the median benefit for African American single women seniors would dip below the poverty line, and continue on a downward spiral as those women age, cutting nearly $1,000 by the time they reach age 95.

Click here for a jpg of the graph above.

07 Jul 2011

In Social Security Cuts, Look for the Chained CPI

Although specifics have yet to officially emerge, there is little doubt that among the Social Security benefit cuts the President is proposing will be a reduction in Social Security’s annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) through an obscure change in the COLA formula known as the chained CPI

23 Jun 2011

Dean Baker: Employer-Side Payroll Tax Cut Won’t Increase Hiring

Giving companies money does not mean they’ll hire. Especially when they have record amounts of cash, like they do now, companies are more likely to use additional capital to re-invest in assets, re-purchase stock, and other non-hiring-type activities. That’s what Jared Bernstein said in a really convincing takedown of tax