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Surveyed seniors tell Congress not to mess with their benefits

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America’s foremost interest group for seniors asked voters aged 50 and older if they would support changes to how cost-of-living increases for Social Security benefits are calculated as a way to cut the deficit.

The verdict was a resounding “no.”

AARP said seven of 10 older voters oppose a proposal to use a chained consumer price index (CPI), rather than the simple Consumer Price Index, to calculate cost-of-living increases for Social Security and some veterans’ benefits.

Chained CPI would grow more slowly than the regular CPI, which would mean benefits would rise less quickly in the future.

Respondents who balked at chained CPI included 75 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of independents.

AARP found that 66 percent of older voters would think less favorably of their member of Congress if he or she voted in support of chained CPI, including 69 percent of Democrats, 60 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of independents.

Also, 80 percent of all respondents oppose changes to how cost-of-living adjustments are calculated for retired and disabled veterans’ benefits, according to the survey.

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