J. Harris: Wrong move with Social Security

Dictionary.com defines “sucker punch,” in part, as “A sudden unexpected defeat or setback.”

That is exactly what it felt like when President Obama offered to cut the annual COLA for Social Security, using a formula known as the Chained CPI. He is doing that to appease Republicans in the House so they will agree to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans as part of a large deficit reduction deal.

But in the first year, the proposed chained CPI will cut $130 out of Social Security benefits for a typical 65-year-old and, over time, the cut becomes nearly $1,400 per year for a 95-year-old.

In other words, it cuts the most from the people who can afford it the least.

Social Security has never contributed a dime to the deficit so it shouldn’t be part of the debate over debt. Period.

Judith Harris, Lewiston

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MARK GRAVEL's picture

“the proposed chained CPI

“the proposed chained CPI will cut $130 out of Social Security”

Wrong. The chained CPI will only affect the rate of benefit increases; it will not reduce any benefit you are currently receiving.

Let's hope you are not intentionally misrepresenting the facts for some type of personal gain.

This government is broke, so be patriotic and take your lumps with the rest of us.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Let's hope YOU are correct on

Let's hope YOU are correct on this one. You usually are. What I don't get, though, is that they want to reduce the amount of annual increases (which were paltry anyway) by tightening the CPI guidelines which were determining the amounts of these increases, but yet, they're going to instill annually increases in the minimum wage by relating those to increases in the CPI. This administration seems to enjoy sticking it to the 65 and older crowd. Most of these people have earned every cent that they receive from SS and is by no means a handout as some like to call it. To some, unfortunately, it is all they have to get them through their supposed 'golden years'.

AL PELLETIER's picture


Republicans have pledged to not let the rich pay a little more unless the poor get a little less so they attack entitlements.
That's a fact and you know it!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I get that, but it doesn't

I get that, but it doesn't change the outcome nor does it absolve your president for presiding over it happening.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Didn’t the current

Didn’t the current administration just get over $1T in new revenue from the “rich”? You are now back asking for more?
You already go your pound of flesh from the rich. Asking for more is simply greedy and vindictive. Shame on you.

Zack Lenhert's picture

pfft... Technically they

pfft... Technically they voted to lower the tax rate for 99% of income earners.

...and don't forget the Budget Control Act of 2011 that the current administration signed into law after the first debt ceiling crisis, that cut future spending by $917B. That also set the stage for sequestration which cut another $1T from spending.

You've already got your pound of flesh and more from the poor and middle class...

MARK GRAVEL's picture

In my opinion, the country

In my opinion, the country has not yet realized that we are broke. Things must change; things will change.

“it is all they have to get them through their supposed 'golden years'.”
Why don’t more people save for their golden years?

AL PELLETIER's picture

Golden Years?

How about my in-laws who saved and invested all there lives for their retirement, then along came (your hero Bush) and everything they worked and saved for went right down the toilet. They lost $250,000 in 2007 and now Social Security is their future.
Your opinion sucks!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

It's strange how you can

It's strange how you can blame Bush for every piece of crap that's ever been legislated, but you hold the messiah and the democrats blameless and unaccountable for everything that's taken place in the last five years. If Gravel's opinion sucks, yours swallows.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

P.S. Keep the fear in check –

P.S. Keep the fear in check – use the data! This applies to all decisions in life. Including GUN legislation.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

First, investing 101 says

First, investing 101 says that when you are in retirement capital preservation is priority one. For example, an individual in his or her 70’s does not want to be more than 20 vested in equities. All though other investments may provide little to no return, capital preservation is the game.

Second, if they stayed vested, the market is back up and perhaps passed 2007 levels, they would have not lost any money. The bad thing to do is panic and sell low. Remember the many discussions we had about emotion. Recognize your fear, and keep it in check; fear is an emotion. How were your in-law's deversified or were they?

During the economic down turn, I fought my fear and dumped money into the market that has now increased almost two fold. Even though the market drop frightened me; I looked at market history. The market always bounced back. It does not mean that it always will, but that was a statistical guess based on data, not fear, and it paid handsomely.

Now let’s visit your in-laws, did they let fear get the best of them? If yes, it is their fault, not the system. Those who kept their fear in check throughout this down turn benefited handsomely.

Let me close with a message to all readers. The social security system we now today MUST and WILL change. Please, please don’t think it will be there for you; have a backup plan.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

That's a fair question. Some

That's a fair question. Some are too dumb to realize the importance of preparing for the future, particularly the retirement years. Others face circumstances in their lives that preclude their ability to prepare as well as they should. I think they probably represent the majority of us. Then, there are those who just don't give a damn and are fully prepared to have you, me and the rest of us look after them when they get old. And then, there are those like you who prepared well, did everything right and are living quite comfortably in their retirement, and, get to ask questions like, "Why don't more people save for their golden years"?
To many people, Social Security IS their retirement plan, although that was never its intention.


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