Skip to main content

I just received this email from my Senator, the great Elizabeth Warren. I'm reposting it here for the benefit of people around the nation who are not on Senator Warren's email list.

Inch By Inch

My brother David has always had the special spark in our family.

Like our two older brothers, David served in the military. When he got out, he started a small business -- and when that one didn't work out, he started another one. He couldn't imagine an America where he wasn't living by his wits every single day.

Year after year, my brother paid into Social Security. He never questioned it. He figured he was paying so that he -- and a lot of other people -- could have a secure retirement.

Today my brother lives on his Social Security. That's about $1,100 a month. $13,200 a year.

I'm telling you my brother's story not because it's unusual, but because it's like the story of so many other people. I can almost guarantee that you know someone -- a family member, friend, or neighbor -- who counts on Social Security checks to get by.  

That's why I was shocked to hear that the President's newest budget proposal would cut $100 billion in Social Security benefits. Our Social Security system is critical to protecting middle class families, and we cannot allow it to be dismantled inch by inch.    

The President's policy proposal, known as "chained CPI," would re-calculate the cost of living for Social Security beneficiaries. That new number won't keep up with inflation on things like food and health care -- the basics that we need to live.

In short, "chained CPI" is just a fancy way to say "cut benefits for seniors, the permanently disabled, and orphans."

Two-thirds of seniors rely on Social Security for most of their income; one-third rely on it for at least 90% of their income. These people aren't stashing their Social Security checks in the Cayman Islands and buying vacation homes in Aruba – they are hanging on by their fingernails to their place in the middle class.

My brothers and I grew up in an America that invested in its kids and built a strong middle class. An America that allowed millions of children to rise from poverty and establish secure lives. An America that created Social Security and Medicare so that seniors could live with dignity.

We can't chip away at America's middle class and break the promise we make to our seniors.

Thank you for being a part of this,

Elizabeth

UPDATE: A response from Senator Warren based on my communication with her office. Similar but worth adding (emphasis mine):

Thank you for contacting me to express your concern for protecting Social Security. The problems with Social Security funding are serious, but they are also fixable. Social Security is safe for at least the next 20 years and, if we act quickly, we can make modest changes that will keep the system solvent without cutting back on benefits. Social Security is a promise made to our seniors. It would be a breach of trust - and just plain bad economic policy - to jeopardize this program by subjecting it to arbitrary, dangerous, and unnecessary cuts.

As your Senator, I am committed to preventing the harmful cuts that would result from switching to a Chained Consumer Price Index (Chained-CPI) method of calculating benefits. Chained CPI is just a fancy way of saying, "cut benefits for seniors, the permanently disabled, and orphans." The Chained CPI method assumes that seniors spend money in the same ways that the rest of the nation does. We know, however, that this is not true. Seniors spend more of their annual income on health care than younger members of the population. Since health care expenditures are rising notably faster than other expenditures, the cost of living for seniors actually rises more quickly than it does for the rest of the population. Therefore, using the Chained CPI to determine the size of the annual cost of living adjustment in Social Security benefits would unfairly decrease benefits to Social Security recipients and endanger the livelihood of seniors.

Social Security was designed to give our nation's seniors the means to retire with independence and dignity, and I believe that the proposed switch to a Chained CPI moves us in the wrong direction. Our Social Security system is critical to protecting middle-class families, and we cannot allow it to be dismantled inch-by-inch. This issue is of the utmost importance to me, and I will continue to fight to protect the hard-earned benefits of Massachusetts' retired workers and their dependents.

Thank you again for reaching out to me. I appreciate your contacting my office about this important issue.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Warren
United States Senator

Originally posted to fenway49 on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 08:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Massachusetts Kosmopolitans, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, and Social Security Defenders.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, skybluewater, Sharoney, SME in Seattle, Mary, Pat K California, fly, VA6thDem, Thumb, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, Ed in Montana, Angie in WA State, cslewis, Armando, jec, northsylvania, Paleo, Mogolori, scribeboy, Chi, oofer, True North, hester, slinkerwink, roonie, texaseditor, glitterscale, Liberal Thinking, dfarrah, tiggers thotful spot, Nina Katarina, Gooserock, Danno11, emal, PeterHug, Sprinkles, karlpk, Shockwave, Minnesota Deb, CleverNickName, hyperstation, Aspe4, Orj ozeppi, LeftHandedMan, RFK Lives, Matilda, expatjourno, hubcap, niemann, Creosote, Doctor Who, Heart of the Rockies, Morgana, rasbobbo, opinionated, biryanifan, Zinman, missLotus, Babsnc, fugwb, Einsteinia, BlackSheep1, susakinovember, srkp23, Agathena, Pithy Cherub, boadicea, stevej, fishwars, tmmike, smokem2271, roses, slouching, pedrito, Ignacio Magaloni, Clues, Bill Roberts, Nate Roberts, fumie, Iberian, dylanfan, abs0628, wader, Lilyvt, Texknight, psnyder, Dallasdoc, figbash, CitizenOfEarth, pat bunny, Tracker, ranger995, lezlie, johanus, Kidspeak, chickeee, lcrp, wordwraith, riverlover, seenos, Brian82, walkshills, outragedinSF, Diana in NoVa, AllisonInSeattle, zett, ybruti, Luftmensch, Kitsap River, meagert, KayCeSF, Mosquito Pilot, Steven D, valadon, rambler american, solesse413, dss, slapshoe, jhawklefty, rolet, Sybil Liberty, Armand451, Ohkwai, rapala, Skennet Boch, davidincleveland, kbman, jabney, Bluesee, 3goldens, NoMoreLies, Jeffersonian Democrat, ichibon, el dorado gal, UncleCharlie, Alice Marshall, chimene, democracy inaction, tolerant, irate, sc kitty, Flint, run around, one of 8, grimjc, dewtx, myeye, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, emejia, EJP in Maine, Dobber, Laurence Lewis, Kevskos, FutureNow, ratzo, fixxit, Beetwasher, Sun Tzu, Dem Beans, jcitybone, ladybug53, Burned, cassidy3, Overseas, lotlizard, bjedward, Sandino, PinHole, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, SBandini, Ozzie, Tunk, noemie maxwell, Savvy813, kerplunk, Rogneid, coloradorob, mrchips46, mightymouse, Alan Arizona, jay23, Paper Cup, Jim R, Jim P, Montco PA Dem, Denny in Seattle, poco, hlee1169, tarheelblue, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, rcbowman, Kingsmeg, vigilant meerkat, cybersaur, BlueInARedState, Themistoclea, cardboardurinal, Kimball Cross, Gorette, rl en france, liberalconservative, smokeymonkey, Audri, The Wizard, New Rule, kck, Lefty Coaster, blueoasis, Blue Wind, DarkestHour, triv33, praenomen, MJ via Chicago, 4Freedom, gooderservice, Libby Shaw, real world chick, JVolvo, Sagebrush Bob, Preston S, el cid, sceptical observer, doinaheckuvanutjob, middleagedhousewife, llbear, onionjim, IL clb, nother lurker, inner light, democracy is coming, profh, James Hepburn, Timothy J, fiddlingnero, Stripe, kurt, shaharazade, nhox42, sea note, markthshark, Little, OHdog, Aaa T Tudeattack, NonnyO, BentLiberal, ammasdarling, TheUnknown285, Evil Betty, One Pissed Off Liberal, dov12348, out of left field, bluicebank, fabucat, Habitat Vic, Haningchadus14, SpecialKinFlag, oklacoma dem, camlbacker, weneedahero, Debs2, grelinda, gloriana, Positronicus, puakev, yoduuuh do or do not, FishOutofWater, LillithMc, Mary Mike, HeartlandLiberal, noofsh, daveygodigaditch, terabytes, DWG, Shadowmage36, Kentucky Kid, HCKAD, jayden, jedennis, Aunt Martha, rontripp, bobswern, Librarianmom, RudiB, pioneer111, cececville, Rumarhazzit, GeorgeXVIII, Timmethy, leonard145b, skod, eyesoars, Don midwest, MichiganGirl, Assaf, Jamaste, TomP, fb, JayC, mconvente, darrow, Roger Fox, ferment, amyzex, MikePhoenix, zerone, OleHippieChick, Youffraita, Senor Unoball, Arlys, Thomas Twinnings, Involuntary Exile, elwior, brooklynbadboy, Cat Servant, Buckeye Nut Schell, KJG52, monkeybrainpolitics, rssrai, tofumagoo, jobu, Hanging Up My Tusks, catly, temptxan, Horsefeathers, petulans, 3rdOption, KrazyKitten, venger, lenzy1000, Al Fondy, JamieG from Md, Quilldriver, squarewheel, ZhenRen, JBL55, LaFeminista, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, cybrestrike, MufsMom, bleuet, spacecadet1, Rick Aucoin, greengemini, divineorder, ewmorr, rudy23, CanyonWren, maryabein, Methinks They Lie, rem123, Zotz, rbird, BlueInRedCincy, CamillesDad1, JesseCW, bekosiluvu, zaka1, such sweet thunder, Jyrki, thirty three and a third, dskoe, asym, bfitzinAR, kevinpdx, sfarkash, Flyswatterbanjo, Little Flower, jfromga, schnecke21, deviant24x, Leftcandid, catilinus, Words In Action, Just Bob, commonmass, smileycreek, coppercelt, political junquie, OrangeMike, Alohilani, awcomeon, NMDad, FogCityJohn, p gorden lippy, flitedocnm, The Jester, pdx kirk, jethrock, piers, Anima, biggiefries, wvmom, Garfnobl, cordgrass, gulfgal98, Lady Libertine, ItsSimpleSimon, Puddytat, Jaimas, SoonerG, melfunction, Publius2008, rja, Betty Pinson, kenwards, ericlewis0, Floande, USHomeopath, Oh Mary Oh, rasfrome, Actbriniel, mallyroyal, slice, no way lack of brain, Jane Lew, allenjo, Plox, Oldowan, StateofEuphoria, sostos, Mr MadAsHell, RedlandsDem, Seitanist, mikejay611, Teiresias70, Alice Olson, smiley7, marleycat, PorridgeGun, AgavePup, Wolf10, akmk, slooterdam, political mutt, Fresno, tardis10, LSmith, Grandma Susie, IB JOHN, createpeace, MuskokaGord, shevas01, peregrine kate, Tyto Alba, PhilJD, Liberal Mole, MinistryOfTruth, disconnect the dots, randomfacts, Marihilda, Jim H, cailloux, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, stlsophos, imlpdx, jadt65, Mentatmark, SouthernLiberalinMD, allergywoman, PrometheusUnbound, No one gets out alive, Laurel in CA, BlueDragon, livingthedream, quill, hulibow, ridemybike, Whatithink, Heart n Mind, anodnhajo, DeadHead, Williston Barrett, IndieGuy, The Lone Apple, Joieau, 420 forever, 2thanks, JGibson, Ginger1, sreeizzle2012, This old man, Mr Robert, Mike RinRI, peachcreek, Leo Flinnwood, radical simplicity, BusyinCA, MartyM, Rizzo, OllieGarkey, lunachickie, Brown Thrasher, tytalus, rat racer, brook, AuntieRa, 4mygirls, George3, Purplehead, Windowpane, Robynhood too, ShoshannaD, BobTheHappyDinosaur, Blue Dream, nuclear winter solstice, Lily O Lady, Chaddiwicker, countwebb, Tim DeLaney, poopdogcomedy, SanFernandoValleyMom, dear occupant, DownstateDemocrat, gypsytoo, Alhambra, ReverseThePolarity, JerryNA, howabout, northerntier, LaraJones, Bubblehead580, wruckusgroink, rigcath, marcr22, The Story Teller, Portia Elm, BroadwayBaby1, Halfton81, Betterthansoap, Aged Writer, Stentorian Tone, eagleray, andalusi, Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees, Capt Crunch, catfoodnation

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site