RetireSafe Calls Proposed “Chained” Consumer Price Index a Tax Increase on Older Americans!
Washington, DC (July 8, 2011) Today, RetireSafe President Thair Phillips called proposed efforts to establish a “chained” consumer price index (CPI) as the standard used to determine annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), “an unfair tax on older Americans.”
“With President Obama and a number of the Congressional Leaders apparently poised to again attack Social Security and Medicare benefits in order to gain a debt deal, it’s time for seniors to stand up for the benefits they have earned, before they are stolen,” Phillips said. “The use of a chained-CPI is simply a political trick to rob older Americans to an even greater degree than ever before,” he continued. “The present CPI used to set Social Security COLAs has shortchanged seniors for decades, and the chained-CPI will dig even deeper into senior pockets,” Phillips stated. He went on, “Every older American should speak out now, before this scam takes effect.
“The chained-CPI is based on the notion that if goods and services are too expensive, consumers will substitute items that cost less,” Phillips said. “The politicians are saying that if steak and hamburger cost too much, you will eat baloney instead,” he stressed. Phillips continued, “I guess if baloney costs too much our seniors simply won’t eat meat, if you believe this theory.”
“This is just one more effort to put a formula in place to take away your Social Security benefits, a huge tax increase on older Americans,” he charged. Phillips said, “This new tax on seniors is expected to scam Social Security beneficiaries out of some $60 billion over the next ten years.” “The chained-CPI senior tax will cheat older American men and women out of benefits they have worked for and earned over a lifetime of toil,” he stressed. “Every senior should stand up and fight the chained-CPI senior tax today, before we are robbed again,” Phillips concluded.
RetireSafe is a grassroots advocacy organization representing some 400,000 seniors nationwide. The group has led the fight to pass H.R 1086, the CPI for Seniors Act, a bill to mandate a fair and accurate CPI that reflects finally reflects the escalating fuel, food, clothing, housing, and health care costs faced by seniors. Against these fast-rising expenses, the Social Security COLA based on the present CPI has been ZERO for two years, a cruel burden on seniors!