JUDY WANCHISN: Where's news media on chained CPI?
April 11, 2013 10:20 AM

The president’s budget has included the chained CPI in a foolish attempt to deal with the Republicans on Social Security. We need to contact our congressmen and the president to protest such a devastating idea.

According to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, this is a horrible idea for Social Security recipients. He claims Social Security has not contributed to the deficit and has a $2.7 trillion surplus that will last for 20 years and shouldn’t even be part of the discussion.

Sanders added an amendment to the budget opposing the chained CPI. The chained CPI switches the basis for the COLA and will reduce scheduled benefits for seniors, widows, veterans, retirees, children and the disabled. Cuts will start small and get larger over time and will lower your payments as you get older — just when you need more, not less. The average senior would lose $14,000 of their hard-earned money that they paid into Social Security. The cuts amount to $127 billion in benefits over the next 10 years.

The interesting thing is that the Senate unanimously voted against cuts to Social Security using the chained CPI. Why haven’t the media reported this vote?

Well, the corruption of the national media is very apparent in the reporting of Social Security. According to Business Insider, almost all media comes from the “Big 6.” Massive corporations, through mergers and acquisitions, have concentrated their control over what we see, hear and read.

In 1983, 90 percent of the American media was controlled by 50 companies. By 2011, 90 percent was owned by six corporations — GE, News Corp (Fox), Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS, and these same six own 70 percent of cable. I call it the corporate media elite influencing the messages we receive.

Also, there is no basis for the claim that the chained CPI would give a more accurate measure of the rate of inflation. The vote on Sanders’ amendment should have been newsworthy. Not one senator, Republican or Democrat, wanted to go on record in support of this cut to Social Security.

The AARP, the AFL-CIO, the National Organization for Women, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and the AMVETS adamantly oppose chained CPI. Send a petition to the president and your elected officials by visiting SignOn. Org.

Also check out the AARP’s online tools to calculate how the chained CPI will affect you.

Judy Wanchisn

Marion Center

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