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LETTER: Lewis backs ‘chained’ Consumer Price Index scam

To the Editor:

Jason Lewis, right-leaning Republican who at one time proposed privatizing Social Security for young working people, is running for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District, which includes all of Goodhue County. More than 1 out of 5 of us living in Goodhue County receives Social Security.

Lewis favors a “chained” Consumer Price Index and raising our retirement age as the Republican way to change Social Security. He also proposes to continue to let the 17 percent who are fortunate enough to be wealthy off the hook from paying any money above the cap to the Social Security Trust Fund. To those who are even millionaires he also proposes no means testing.

Not so fast Mr. Lewis. A chained CPI means this: Say you go the grocery store to buy a can of salmon. The price of a can of salmon is $5.50. Well, you are receiving Social Security and can’t afford that. So you buy a can of tuna for $2. Mr. Lewis thinks you saved $3.50.

Another example is the price of gasoline. The price of gas goes up from $2.50 to $3.50 per gallon. You don’t drive any more to get the can of tuna. The end of the year rolls around and because you have saved so much money, you don’t get even a paltry increase in Social Security, likely VA pension and a multitude of connected pensions. But look at what you saved. A “chained” CPI is nothing more than a scam.

Raising the retirement age is another GOP scam. It is already at age 67. I shake a lot of hands and most are gnarled and worn out. Most workers today are struggling just to reach age 65. We work hard. Perhaps the 17 percent of Lewis’ non-Social Security paying pals are OK with raising the age. Mine aren’t.

Lewis offers not a solution … it appears he is just taking care of his wealthy friends. Think about Social Security when you vote. Perhaps Mr. Right is just plain wrong?

Bruce Yernberg

Red Wing