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Obama Social Security offer at odds with top Dems

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm •  Published: December 19, 2012

Once the change is fully phased in, yearly Social Security benefits for a typical middle-income 65-year-old would be about $136 less, according to an analysis of Social Security data. At age 75, annual benefits under the new index would be $560 less. At 85, the cut would be $984 a year.

"The Chained CPI is a stealth benefit reduction that will compound over time and cut thousands of dollars in retirement income for current beneficiaries," said Nancy LeaMond, AARP's executive vice president.

More than a dozen veterans groups gathered on Capitol Hill Wednesday to oppose the change, which would also affect retirement and disability benefits for veterans.

"It is very easy to say you support the troops," said Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "But what many don't get is that that support for the troops doesn't stop when a shipment of guns hits the ground in Afghanistan. It is a promise you made to every man and woman who serves in the military, from the time they raise their hand to the time they die."

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who organized the gathering of veterans, said, "We must do deficit reduction, but not by cutting programs for people who lost arms, legs and eyes defending our country."

If enacted for 2014, the change would reduce government borrowing by $223 billion over the next decade — $158 billion in spending cuts and $65 billion in tax increases, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The biggest savings — $102 billion — would come from Social Security.

Reid had been adamant that Social Security should not be included in deficit-reduction talks.

In November, Reid told reporters: "I've made it very clear. I've told anyone that will listen, including everyone in the White House, including the president, that I am not going to be part of having Social Security as part of these talks relating to this deficit.

On Tuesday, Reid sidestepped a question about it.

"This isn't going to be a situation where we're going to vote on a particular provision in the bill," Reid said. "It's going to be a framework to do something about the long-term security of this country."


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