Grayson: Florida's Seniors Overwhelmingly Oppose Chained CPI

Press Release

By:  Alan Grayson
Date: April 17, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

According to an AARP poll released last week, Florida's seniors overwhelmingly oppose "chained CPI" proposals. The chained CPI would change the way annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) are calculated, resulting in a benefit cut for Social Security recipients. The existing calculation already understates the true cost-of-living for seniors, and the chained CPI would exacerbate that problem. Nevertheless, President Obama included the chained CPI in his budget proposal.

Polling commissioned by AARP found broad disapproval for the chained CPI across party lines, with 81% of older Florida voters opposing changes to cost of living calculations for earned benefits, such as Social Security. The poll also found that 71% of older Florida voters would be less favorable to their member of Congress or Senator if he/she voted for a chained CPI proposal, such as the one included in President Obama's budget.

"The proposed cut to Social Security represents a broken promise," said Jeff Johnson, AARP's Florida state director. "The chained CPI reduction snowballs over time, cutting benefits by billions of dollars over the next 10 years for Florida children, veterans, widows, retirees, and people with disabilities. As this survey shows, older Floridians overwhelmingly opposed chained CPI. And history shows they turn out to vote in large numbers."

"The Chained CPI is not entitlement reform," Grayson said. "This is a broken promise. Chained CPI is a benefit cut that breaks our nation's promise to seniors and veterans, and for what? What do we gain, by short-changing our seniors and veterans? Social Security is not responsible for the deficit, and neither are our seniors. The Social Security fund currently has $2.7 trillion and has operated at a surplus every year since its foundation. Changing the cost-of-living calculation for earned benefits like Social Security is fundamentally unfair. "