Conyers Opposes Republican Plan to Protect Millionaires and Cut Social Security Benefits
(WASHINGTON) – Today, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement criticizing Speaker Boehner’s refusal to accept a balanced approach to avert the end-of-year automatic spending cuts and tax increases, as well as the Speaker’s decision to include Social Security benefit cuts in these discussions:
“Despite clear evidence that the American people support balancing the deficit by requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes, Speaker Boehner announced a plan today that would allow millionaires to keep their tax cuts,” said Conyers.
“This so-called ‘Plan B’ is not a balanced approach to deficit reduction and it should be rejected.
“I resent that Speaker Boehner has chosen to put cuts to Social Security benefits for current and future retirees on the table as a way to resolve the budget crisis.
“The change in the way Social Security calculates yearly cost-of-living-adjustments, called ‘Chained CPI,’ would place an increased burden on elderly Americans - nearly 70 percent of whom rely on Social Security for more than half of their income and whose benefits average less than $15,000 per year. Under this proposed policy, benefits would be cut by 0.3 percent annually and would increase over time. As a result, the older and poorer a beneficiary becomes, the larger the benefit cut.
“The fact that Republicans would seriously consider cutting the current and future Social Security benefits of all Americans to benefit the wealthy few is unconscionable and unacceptable. We cannot ask our seniors and the most vulnerable to bear the burden of deficit reduction.
“If Congress were to pursue this unwise course of action, we would not only be embracing a deeply unpopular policy, but also ignoring the will of the American people. A recent poll by Hart Associates in the days before the November election found that an overwhelming 84 percent of Americans said they did not want their Social Security benefits cut. 104 House Democrats have also already stated their opposition to including Social Security in any deficit reduction package.
“Any debt deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits is unacceptable.”