It is based on a concept called the “substitution effect” – which assumes that when the price of one good goes up, a consumer will substitute a lower-cost alternative in its place (e.g., when the price of steak goes up, a person will buy hamburger instead). For Social Security and SSI beneficiaries who are struggling to make ends meet as it is, there’s no room for substitution – and no room for benefit cuts. Benefit cuts under the chained CPI would push beneficiaries to make impossible choices such as not paying the gas bill to afford the water bill, taking half a pill instead of a whole pill, or eating two meals per day instead of three to afford the cost of a copay on a needed medication.
Low-income seniors and people with severe disabilities are already struggling and can’t afford cuts. Send this email to Congress to tell them NO on the chained CPI, and to keep Social Security cuts out of any budget plan. For AARP’s chained CPI calculator, click here.
SNAP is a great program – boosting food security, health and nutrition and lifting millions out of poverty and millions of others out of deep poverty. But as a National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine expert committee just found, for most families benefits simply aren’t enough to afford a healthy diet for the month. This means that the program isn’t doing as much for food security, poverty reduction, child development, disease prevention and health care cost containment, as it could. And despite a series of Pinocchio-inspired political attacks on the program in the 2012 election season and in this year’s run-up to SNAP reauthorization as part of the Farm Bill, public support for the program is high: 73 percent of voters believe the program is important to the country; 70 percent say cutting it is the wrong way to reduce government spending; and 77 percent say the government should be spending more (43 percent) or the same (34 percent) on SNAP. This support crosses parties, demographic groups and rural, urban and suburban lines.
Here’s what you can do: Tell your representative and senators that the right course for the nation is to improve food stamp benefits (and support at least the temporary benefit boost the President has proposed) and that they must oppose any SNAP cuts being considered by the Agriculture Committees in the “Farm Bill.”
Across the country, federal “sequestration” cuts (aka mindless automatic reductions) are closing Head Start programs weeks early and canceling summer programs for poor 3- to 5-year-old children; some Head Start centers are closing altogether or dropping children. Seniors are losing home-delivered meals or homemaker services that allow them to remain at home instead of being pushed into nursing homes. The long-term jobless are losing 10 to 20 percent of their meager benefits; in Maine, they decided to cut all unemployed people off of assistance 9 weeks early. 140,000 fewer families will get rental housing vouchers, despite waiting for help for years, which will contribute to rising family homelessness. In Michigan, they are eliminating a $137 back-to-school clothing allowance for 21,000 poor children.
In , at a White House ceremony surrounded by home care workers, employers and people who rely on personal care services, President Obama announced plans for new regulations that would at long last guarantee federal minimum wage and overtime protections for most home care aides
These cuts are wrong and foolish any way you slice it – they keep people poor, cost jobs and stall economic growth for everyone.
Education is being cut, from pre-school to the Federal Work-Study Program (formerly “College Work-Study”) that helps students finance college through part-time employment
Send this email to your representative and senators and join hundreds of thousands who are fed up that Congress would ignore these problems while fixing just one thing – inconvenient delays at airports. Also, for weekly summaries of the impact of these sequester cuts, click here.
3. From Ralph da Costa Nunez, president and CEO, Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness: “Make a Personal Commitment to Helping Homeless Families”
The moment capped decades of effort by advocates to revise the “companionship exemption,” which lumps professional care workers with teenage babysitters, excluding most home care aides from the basic labor protections that nearly all other American workers receive.
Even as the economy recovers, too many unemployed workers and individuals with low education and skill levels face a difficult job market. Nearly two out of five unemployed workers have been jobless for six months or more. 6.7 million youth are both out of work and out of school.
The amount a person gets in Social Security or SSI benefits is adjusted annually based on the Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). The chained CPI would slow the increase in the Social Security COLA, cutting benefits and eroding the purchasing power of seniors, people with disabilities and their families. Cuts under the chained CPI add up significantly over time. Since the effect of the chained CPI is cumulative, it would be especially hard on people with disabilities, since they typically begin receiving benefits at a younger age than retirees.