Social Security Increase Good News, but Seniors Face Uncertain Future

October 16, 2012

For Immediate Release

October 16, 2012

The following statement was issued today by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to a 1.7 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security.
 
“The modest inflationary increase in Social Security benefits is good news for seniors, but it could soon be greatly overshadowed by troubling political and legislative developments.

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are running on a platform that would badly damage Social Security for current and future retirees.  They continue to perpetuate the false and corrosive myth that Social Security fuels our national debt, wanting workers and retirees to pay the price for a budget deficit they did not cause.  The Romney-Ryan plan would cut benefits, raise the retirement age, and let Wall Street profit from a risky privatized system.

“The second threat to Social Security will be a lame-duck session of Congress that will meet in November to consider cuts in federal spending.  Turning a blind eye to the budgetary impact of tax cuts for the wealthy, some in Washington are proposing devastating changes to the formula used to calculate the Social Security COLA.  

“The current formula, used for today’s announcement, already badly understates the inflation experienced by seniors and disabled Americans, who make up the majority of Social Security beneficiaries.  However, the change some in Congress want would exacerbate this flaw in a way that is particularly damaging for women who, because of their greater life expectancy, receive benefits over a longer period of time.

“While today’s modest adjustment will provide some help for retirees, I am deeply disturbed that too many in politics see Social Security as yet another pension fund that can be raided to advance the interests of a select few.”

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Contact: David Blank (202) 637-5275 or dblank@retiredamericans.org

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