Seniors protest proposed Social Security cuts
Posted October 27, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — A small but passionate group of protesters picketed the Social Security Administration offices in Raleigh and Durham Thursday, part of a series of nationwide protests over proposed cuts to Social Security benefits.
Members of the so-called super-committee in Congress, which is looking to cut the federal deficit, have called for changing the calculation for annual cost-of-living increases in federal programs as well as the yearly adjustments in income tax brackets.
A decision to base annual cost of living increases on the new calculation would lower Social Security costs by $108 billion over a decade, and the impact on benefits for federal civilian and military pension programs and veterans' benefits would save an additional $23 billion, according to calculations made in February 2010.
Congressional experts said the list of federal programs that would be affected is extensive, and included Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and more, but the absence of a written description by either side in the deficit negotiations makes a complete listing impossible.
Seniors protesting at the Social Security officials said they don't want the government to cut their benefits, and they also want benefits for federal workers protected.
"We don't have to go back to pre-Franklin Roosevelt times, when seniors were left to their own devices," said Michael Gravinese, of the American Federation of Government Employees.
The union for government workers helped organize the protest.
"(Social Security) provides a dramatic economic impact in every community across the country," Gravinese said. "Cutting it is not the answer (to the deficit)."