Sen. Sanders makes sense on Social Security

Wednesday, April 24, 2013   |   Posted by Jim Hightower
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So your heart doctor says to you: "We need to do a little open-heart surgery to make a minor tweak in your blood flow."

Whoa! Time for a second opinion!

That's why Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is such a useful citizen. When confronted with the wonky conventional wisdom of economic experts, his common sense kicks in, causing him to question authority – and seek a second opinion. For example, Sanders is presently questioning Wall Street, the corporate media, Republican lawmakers, and the Obama White House for their insistence that our Social Security program needs a little operation.

No worries, they say, for we're only talking about a minor tweak called the "chained CPI." It's merely a reworking of the consumer price index, they claim, and it will not – repeat, NOT – cut benefits, but simply "adjust" the flow of annual cost-of-living increases in the program.

"B.S. ALERT," shouts Bernie! While these well-off cognoscenti won't notice a downward "adjustment" in their payments, it would be a real hit to typical retirees who count on that money for more than two-thirds of their incomes. Sanders points out that the change proposed by Obama would mean that today's "65-year-old retirees would each lose more than $650 a year by their 75th birthday."

That's not a tweak, it's a cut! And it's especially painful when you're trying to make ends meet on $14,000 a year. When the elite policy wonks and politicos claim that chained CPI is a more accurate measure of inflation, they're completely ignorant of the reality of life for the elderly. Most 75-year-olds aren't buying new cars or 70-inch TVs – the biggest chunk of their meager incomes go to health care, which is grossly inflationary.

To stay connected to reality on the Social Security fight, connect with Bernie: www.sanders.senate.gov.

"Senate Unanimously Votes Against Cuts to Social Security, Media Don't Notice," www.alternet.org, March 25, 2013.

"Chained CPI: An economic, moral disaster," www.thehill.com, February 11, 2013.

"Dear Mr. President: Keep Promise on Social Security," www.sanders.senate.gov, April 3. 2013.

"Social Security: Can Democrats Save Obama From Himself?" www.alternet.org, April 8, 2013.

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