Congress considers CRS proposal to increase social security benefits, retirement security
By Staff Writer
Congressman Alan Grayson requested a memo that would lead to higher Social Security benefit increases and improve the retirement security of the elderly.
The Congressman came up with a proposed legislation called "Seniors Deserve a Raise Act." It would give recipients of Social Security an increase that offsets the 40-year shortfall and make the CPI-E permanent. It will be filed when the Congress reconvenes.
Grayson requested for a Congressional Research Service (CRS) memorandum to find out what would the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) be like if the Consumer Price Index - Elderly (CPI-E) was used instead of the current Consumer Price Index Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
The CRS memo found that since 1982 the CPI-E went up .2% more every year compared to CPI-W. This means, if CPI-E was used over CPI-W, it would have raised the Social Security benefit for the elderly, leading to a better retirement security. To be more exact, this would have lead to an additional Social Security Benefits of more than $388 million.
"The promise we made is to protect the purchasing power of seniors earned benefits against inflation. The CPI-E does this while the CPI-W does not," said Grayson.
In his campaign site he said, "We owe our senior too much to continue cheating them on Social Security."
The "Seniors Deserve a Raise Act" will raise the present Social Security benefits by 2.9%. In Grayson's website, he said this will make up for all the years of cheating elders out of the benefits they deserve from the flawed COLAs.
The proposed law will also require the Social Security Administration to use CPI-E if the index is higher than the CPI-W. He claims that COLAs shouldn't be calculated based on the workers' spending habits, since most seniors are retired. The CPI-E will focus on the goods and services that seniors buy, like health care. These increased benefits will also be applicable to retired military too.