Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew testified Tuesday before the Senate Budget Committee on President Obama’s proposal to cut Social Security and benefits for disabled veterans. Sen. Bernie Sanders asked about the White House proposal to tie annual cost-of-living adjustments to a different measure of inflation, a so-called chained consumer price index, to achieve $130 billion in savings by taking benefits away from seniors and veterans.
Meanwhile, in an interview on PBS, Sanders said the president “made a huge mistake” by proposing significant cuts in Social Security and veterans’ benefits. Obama’s proposal is “unconscionable” public policy and a “dangerous strategy” politically that is “going to hurt” the Democratic Party. “For the average American, Social Security has been is the pillar of the social safety net. It’s what the Democratic Party historically has been most proud of,” Sanders told Tavis Smiley.
Under Obama’s proposal, 65-year-old retirees would lose more than $650 a year by their 75th birthday, and more than $1,000 a year would be cut from their benefits once they reach 85. Veterans who started receiving disability benefits at age 30 would have their benefits reduced by $1,425 at age 45, $2,341 at age 55, and $3,231 at age 65.