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Even Teapartiers Agree –Lift the Wealthy Cap on Social Security; Don’t Reduce Benefits for Seniors

Even Teapartiers agree, we should lift the cap on Social Security — not cut benefits for America’s Seniors.
So what are we talking about?
Professional Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, John Boehner — all want to reduce Social Security Benefits. They say we can’t afford a program that would only be able to pay 80% of its benefits by 2037 if nothing is done to reform it. And that’s true. If nothing changes, Social Security would not be able to pay full benefits by 2037. So we do need to reform Social Security. The question is — how?
Professional Republicans want to reform Social Security by reducing Seniors benefits by about .3% each year. How do they plan to do this? By replacing the CPI (Consumer Price Index) with the Chained CPI as Seniors Cost of Living Adjustment formula. The difference between the CPI and the Chained CPI is this: the CPI is an index of inflation based upon the rise of prices in everything from food to utilities. The chained CPI is tied to this measure, but is adjusted for changes in consumer behavior. What kind of changes? Well, let’s say beef is too expensive, so you decide to eat chicken. The chained CPI takes that behavior change into account. If seniors start eating dog food instead of chicken, the chained CPI will take into account and reduce seniors benefits accordingly. Sound good to you?
Now let’s look at the other way to keep Social Security solvent in perpetuity. Lift the cap on what the very wealthy contribute. The wealthy live longer than other Americans, and therefore take more from Social Security than other Americans. Yet they pay no more into the system. Why? contributions are capped at $106,800 — that means if you make $106,800 a year, you contribute as much to Social Security as the billionaire who makes $5 million a year. By lifting the cap, America’s seniors would not have to eat dog food nor have their benefits reduced.
Tell your Congressperson to listen to you and lift the cap on Social Security.

About Georgeana Mimms

Georgeana Mimms was a researcher at the Social Policy Lab of the Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California, Deputy Director of the Asociation Pro Personas Mayores and a Special Consultant to the Los Angeles County Area Agency on Aging.