Deficit reduction may make women poorer

June 24, 2011 at 11:51 PM

WASHINGTON, June 24 (UPI) -- The burden of U.S. deficit reduction should not fall on the backs of one of the country's most vulnerable groups -- elderly women -- an advocacy group says.

A report by the National Women's Law Center says various deficit-reduction plans, including the deficit talks convened by Vice President Joe Biden, call for switching Social Security's cost of living adjustment to a chained Consumer Price Index.

"This proposal is a stealth attack on the economic security of older women," Joan Entmacher of National Women's Law Center in Washington said in a statement. "That is a shameful way to solve our nation's deficit problem."

Older women are already more economically vulnerable than older men -- they often spend fewer years in the workforce because they take care children, the elderly and spouses -- and these cuts would leave many of them unable to meet basic needs, Entmacher said.

For example, for a woman who gets a benefit of $1,100 at age 65 -- the median monthly benefit of all single women 65 and older -- replacing the current COLA with the chained CPI would mean $56 less per month and $672 less per year at age 80, the report said.

"That may not sound like a big cut to some members of Congress -- but it translates to a loss of more than a week's worth of food per month or 13 weeks of food in a year," Entmacher said in a statement. "At age 90, that would mean $87 less per month and more than $1,000 less that year so a woman with an initial benefit of $1,100 a month will lose more than $6,300 by age 80 and more than $15,000 by age 90."

The report is at: www.nwlc.org/resource/cutting-social-security-cola-changing-way-inflation-calculated-would-especially-hurt-women.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Females with childhood ADHD at double the risk for obesity
Medicaid-paid births up in Texas since defunding Planned Parenthood
New ethics standards for DNA replacement therapies
New screening method detects all cystic fibrosis mutations
Esophageal cooling device helps doctors control body temperature