3.21.2013

A letter I sent to Rep. Marcia Fudge & Sen. Sherrod Brown


Representative Fudge,

As you are undoubtedly aware, it is a growing concern among those of us on the left that the President's appetite for "making a deal" with Republicans is overriding his good sense with regards to true protection of Social Security and Medicare.

Gene Sperling recently referred to the idea of moving to Chained CPI as "correcting the CPI," which is a troubling way to soften the rhetoric around what would absolutely result in a benefit CUT to Social Security recipients over time. He also has recently implied that such "corrections" or "changes" to social programs will likely be product of whatever deal is made to end the sequester. As putting sufficient pressure on Democrats to make them consider such cuts was the whole point of sequestration.

Indeed, the growing bipartisan consensus in the Beltway appears to be a frightening mirror image of the consensus outside of it. Washington wants to make cuts to these programs, while the overwhelming majority of Americans from both sides of the aisle do NOT want Congress to do so.

I urge you to sign onto the letter committing to not merely "oppose" such cuts, but to VOTE AGAINST them, as authored by Representatives Alan Grayson and Mark Takano. Our fellow Ohioan Marcy Kaptur has already signed. I would also implore you to recommend that your fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus do the same.*

These cuts cannot occur without the active support of Democrats crossing the aisle to slash at programs that are the very essence of our party platform. Please commit to NOT being one of those Democrats.

Thank you for your time,
Adam Heffelfinger


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*The version of this letter sent to Senator Brown obviously omitted the bit about the Congressional Black Caucus.
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I'd urge anyone else (R or D) to pressure these two, or any other Dems of whom you're a constituent, to sign onto the letter if you don't want to see Social Security benefits cut.

65% of those on Social Security depend on it for at least half of their retirement income.
These benefits typically average around $15,144 per year.

65% of SS recipients equals 37.7 million people. Imagining that all of them receive the "average" $15K/year, that means that nearly 38 million households are living on $30,288 per year. That's not exactly "high on the hog" when your medical expenses are increasing as you age.

More information on the Grayson-Takano letter available here: http://act.boldprogressives.org/survey/survey_ss_grayson/#fullletter

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