Obama’s Social Security Benefit Cuts Would Disproportionately Harm African Americans

Momentum continues to build against President Obama’s proposed chained CPI cut to Social Security and veterans benefits, with 40 Members of Congress endorsing the Grayson-Takano letter rejecting any cut to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits.

The think tank Global Policy Solutions released a report that should cast further doubt on chained CPI. It finds that, if enacted, chained CPI “will disproportionately harm African Americans who have dramatically fewer sources of wealth to draw upon compared to whites.”

The reason is because African Americans are more likely to rely on Social Security benefits as a large portion of their income. One example the report uses is that “47 percent of African American seniors rely on Social Security for more than 90 percent of their income in retirement, compared to 33 percent of their white counterparts.” It also notes that Obama’s proposed exemptions for the very old would be less likely to benefit African Americans, because average life expectancy for African American men after the age of 65 is two years shorter than white men, making  them less likely to be eligible for the proposed exemption for the very old.

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