America’s retirement crisis has received far too little attention

by Elizabeth Warren Nov 2013

America’s retirement crisis has received far too little attention.

With employers cutting back private pensions and family savings decreasing, Social Security is rapidly becoming the only lifeline that millions of seniors have to keep their heads above water after a lifetime of hard work and playing by the rules.

And yet, instead of taking on the retirement crisis, instead of increasing our commitment to Social Security, some in Washington are actually fighting to cut benefits.

Just this week, the Washington Post ran an editorial mocking the idea of a looming retirement crisis. They derided “bold progressives” for wanting to increase Social Security benefits for America’s grandparents and veterans.

Let’s be clear: Bold Progressives are right – and are speaking up for the overwhelming majority of Americans. We need to expand Social Security benefits – not cut them.

Please call your members of Congress in support of protecting and expanding Social Security benefits.

The PCCC has been a national leader in pushing our values and changing the conversation around Social Security this year. And I am proud to stand with Senators Tom Harkin, Mark Begich, Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz, Sherrod Brown, and a growing number in Congress who are committed to this idea.

The most recent discussion about cutting benefits has focused on something called the Chained-CPI. Supporters of the Chained-CPI say that it’s a more accurate way of measuring cost of living increases for seniors. That statement is simply not true. Chained CPI is just a fancy way of saying cut benefits.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed a measure of the real impact of inflation on seniors. It’s called the CPI-E. If we adopted it today, it would generally increase benefits for our retirees—not cut them.

In the end, this is not just about math. It’s about our values. If we want a robust middle class – a middle class that continues to serve as the backbone of our country – then we must take the retirement crisis seriously.

We must move beyond a discussion of Social Security cuts and to a discussion of expansion. Please stand with me and the PCCC in moving our national conversation by calling your Representative.

Thanks so much.

— Senator Elizabeth Warren