Senior citizens protest chained CPI in Social SecuritySenior citizens are protesting a federal bill that would tie cost-of-living increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Social Security.
By: By Patty Murray, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Senior citizens are protesting a federal bill that would tie cost-of-living increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Social Security.
The proposal is called a “chained CPI.” CPI tracks the price urban consumers pay for things like food and clothing.
A group of protestors affiliated with the Wisconsin Chapter of the Alliance for Retired Americans gathered outside the offices of U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., in Green Bay. The group is a coalition of unions, retiree groups, and community organizations.
Spokesman Leon Bruzynski says the proposed cost-of-living increases won't keep pace with seniors' medical expenses.
“If steak's too expensive, buy chicken. Or maybe cat food,” Bruzynski said. “This doesn't work with health care costs which consume a large amount of most retirees' income. Under the chained [cost-of-living adjustment], a senior would be expected to bypass the hip replacement and get a wheelchair.”
The so-called “chained CPI” is part of a compromise between the president and House Republicans to help fix the federal budget. Bruzynski says Social Security was meant as a standalone program and should not be included in the budget debate.
The Alliance for Retired Americans delivered a petition to the offices of Ribble in Green Bay and Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wisc., in Eau Claire, asking them to reconsider their positions on the matter. Ribble's press secretary was not available for comment.