CPI for Seniors - 2011
RetireSafe Presents Major CPI and Seniors Study, Joins With Veterans, Health Care Groups, and House Leaders to Urge Passage of H.R. 1086, the CPI for Seniors Act
 
Washington, DC (March 16, 2011) Today RetireSafe, representing more than 400,000 senior-citizen supporters nationwide, strongly endorsed the recently introduced CPI for Seniors Act, H.R. 1086. This critical House legislation, introduced by U.S. Representatives John “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr. (TN-2) and Daniel Lipinski (IL-3), along with six of their House colleagues, will finally end the use of the admittedly flawed Consumer Price Index (CPI) now used to set Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs), and directs the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to create a “CPI for Seniors” that is accurate, honest, and beyond reproach. Introduced Tuesday, March 15th, H.R.1086 would mandate a broader, better, fairer CPI that would accurately measure the costs of inflation impacting older Americans everywhere.
 
RetireSafe President Thair Phillips called the two lead sponsors, Representatives Duncan and Lipinski, “true heroes for America’s seniors.” He noted that “Social Security beneficiaries and Military Retirees have been frozen in place with a zero COLA for two years running. While we all know health care costs have increased, food, energy, and clothing costs have also climbed.” Among those costs:
 
  • Food: In January, food consumed at home posted its largest cost increase in more than two years.  Cash prices for corn, wheat, and soybeans have climbed 40% to 100% compared to price levels just one year ago. Beef prices are up more than 25%, year over year, and sugar prices are up 55% at year-end 2010 from last August.
 
  • Energy: Gasoline prices now average well above $3 dollars a gallon nationwide. In some places, pump prices over $4 dollars a gallon are being seen. On February 14 gasoline prices were up by 20% over prices one year ago. Many households depending on fuel oil to heat their homes have seen their heating oil costs increase.
 
  • Clothing: Cotton prices have doubled to levels not seen since the Civil War. The prices of other fabrics have jumped by roughly 50 % as well.  Some analysts expect clothing prices to rise by 10% in the coming months.
 

“Thanks to Representatives Duncan, Lipinski, and their outstanding cosponsors, Representatives Gregg Harper (MS-3), Paul Tonko (NY-21), Phil Roe (TN-1), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Sanford Bishop (GA-2), and Delegate Gregorio ‘Kilili’ Camacho Sablan (MP-00), this glaring wrong can finally be righted,” Phillips said. “I salute all of these fine individuals for their efforts to get the numbers right so that seniors are treated fairly,” he added. “We owe them all a debt of gratitude for working to finally correct this bogus CPI and the flawed COLAs that result from it,” he said. Phillips concluded, “We urge other Members to join them in this effort by supporting H.R. 1086.”

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