They say you can tell a lot about a society by how it treats its old people. These politicians in their deficit frenzy are cutting into the bone for a lot of people, especially for older women. If a woman gets $1,100 a month at age 65, replacing the current cost of living adjustment with the chained CPI mean $56 less per month and $672 less per year at age 80. That's a lot of money for people who are scraping by:
(Washington, D.C.) Today the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) released a new report that shows how deficit reduction proposals to change the way cost of living adjustments (COLAs) are calculated in federal benefit programs—such as Social Security—underestimate the effect of inflation on the elderly and would especially harm women. The proposed switch to a new measure of inflation may appear to be a mere technical adjustment, but this report shows how the change will result in significant cuts to Social Security benefits that deepen over the years and dramatically increase economic insecurity among the elderly—especially women.
The proposed change delivers a triple whammy to women, according to NWLC’s report, Cutting the Social Security COLA by Changing the Way Inflation is Calculated Would Especially Hurt Women (view the report: http://www.nwlc.org/resource/cutting-social-security-cola-changing-way-inflation-calculated-would-especially-hurt-women). Since women live longer than men, they face deeper cuts in their Social Security benefits under the proposed new measure of inflation, known as the “chained Consumer Price Index,” because the cuts from this reduced COLA get deeper each year. Women rely more on income from Social Security, so these cuts would represent a larger share of their total retirement income. And since older women are already more economically vulnerable than older men, these cuts would leave many of them unable to meet basic needs.
“This proposal is a stealth attack on the economic security of older women,” said Joan Entmacher, NWLC Vice-President for Family Economic Security. “That is a shameful way to solve our nation’s deficit problem.”
Various deficit-reduction plans call for switching to the chained CPI, and it is reportedly being considered in the deficit talks convened by Vice President Joe Biden.