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Jerry Nadler | The 80-year old Social Security system is above reform

In this  budget crisis, Republicans are seeking to score a callous political win by forcing Democrats to use a different system of measurement — "chained CPI" — to determine Social Security cost-of-living adjustments that would result in decreased payments to seniors.

Perhaps Republicans hope we will buy their argument that seniors are wealthy and don’t need so much from Social Security. Perhaps they hope we will be convinced that these benefit cuts seem so small that we ignore how this cut compounds over time — because, with the chained CPI, the longer you live, the more benefits you lose. Perhaps they hope we will forget that Social Security is self-financed and does not contribute to the deficit. Perhaps they believe we will accept depriving seniors while they refuse to ask the wealthiest to pay one penny more.

But I don’t buy it for a second. Social Security is a promise made many decades ago. Work hard, play by the rules, pay your taxes and you will have a Social Security check in your twilight years to stave off poverty. And that Social Security check will be adjusted so inflation doesn’t cut down its worth.


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