To the Editor: There’s a lot of talk in Washington, D.C., about reducing benefits for retired federal employees and people on social security. The latest scheme is to change the way inflation is calculated.
The scheme is called Chained Consumer Price Index (CPI). Supporters of this CPI scheme argue that the cost of inflation isn’t as much as we think it is. If something goes up in price, you can always buy something else that is cheaper.
For instance, if the cost of steak goes up (which it has), you can always buy hamburger (which has also gone up). The problem is that most of a retired senior citizen’s expenses are mortgage/rent, health care and transportation (up from $1.86 per gallon about five years ago to over $4 per gallon recently). When these costs go up, there aren’t any cheaper alternatives.
I understand that we all need to chip in to balance the federal budget, but Chained CPI will make life harder for seniors, while doing very little to solve the actual problem. The government needs to reduce their own expenditures versus tacking the problem on the back of seniors, whom by the way, have earned their retirements by working for them.
I hope everyone realizes what a bad idea the Chained Consumer Price Index is, and that Senator Mark Kirk and Senator Richard Durbin will vote against any attempts to reduce incomes for seniors.