November 9th, 2012 - In a conference call with reporters today, Sen. Bernie Sanders alerted the American people to the Republican (and some Democrat support) plan to reduce the deficit by cutting veterans benefits.
The change that would bring about the cuts would be a switch in the calculation of COLAs for federal benefit programs like Social Security from the current system to a chained Consumer Price Index (CPI). On the surface, the change seems small. Business Insider explained the Chained CPI, “The C-CPI assumes that consumers are making different choices right now. Because of the economic down-turn, they’re substituting cheaper products for the ones they used to buy (say, going for the cheaper apple versus a more expensive peach at the supermarket, or buying cat food instead of ground beef). It presumes that consumers are effectively changing the real CPI number. Using the C-CPI, rates would re-calibrate every two years according to a reading of consumer spending. And since Social Security is linked to the CPI, it has the potential to reduce social security payments…Since spending on government programs (like social security) will be calculated based on C-CPI (as they are now on CPI), their cost will go down, and people’s benefits will be cut.”
In short, Republicans are trying to push through a benefit cut to veterans, the disabled, and seniors by disguising it as a tweak to the system. Sen, Sanders told reporters, “We do not honor our disabled veterans by cutting their benefits. In my view in this country means anything it means we keep the promises we make to the people who put their lives on the line to defend us.” read more>>>