A flawed policy initiative called the "chained CPI" is gaining steam in Washington budget talks that would shortchange Tennesseans who receive federal benefits such as Social Security and federal annuities by low balling their annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). Chained CPI supporters have tried to minimize the consequences it will have on seniors, retired federal employees, and veterans by calling it a "technical adjustment" or "better measure of inflation."
When you cut through the rhetoric, the truth is that the chained CPI is only an adjustment in that it means smaller COLAs each year. It hurts every American - particularly our most vulnerable - in a major way that worsens over time.
Over 25 years, Chained CPI would rob a senior earning $15,000 in Social Security benefits of more than $23,000. Just think of how many coupons that senior would have to clip to make up for the loss over his/her retired years. Federal annuitants who don't receive Social Security would see a loss of $48,000 over 25 years.
I urge Tennessee lawmakers to reject the Chained CPI and provide America's seniors, retired veterans and public servants, and individuals with disabilities the income protection they have earned and deserve.
LARRY MINNIEAR, Hixson
Kudos to Maureen Dowd and her editorial in Tuesday's Times Free Press (Aug. 27). She writes about Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (Mich.) and his attempt to impeach President Obama. He and many of his fellow God and tea party gang, and those who constantly write negatively about our president, need to come clean and say what they really want to say: that we dislike the President because he is black. Many blacks already realize this, and now a white woman states the obvious.
Stop hiding behind issues such as the economy, government spending and Obamacare as reasons to dislike him. At least the KKK lets you know where they are coming from, and I respect that. The economy will never get better regardless of who is in office. The government has and always will over spend. Obamacare may not be perfect, but I don't see the GOP coming up with a better way to help Americans. Stop hiding behind issues that in all fairness the President cannot do much about because of the GOP-controlled Congress. Come out of the closet, and say what you really feel. No president has been criticized more in my lifetime as has President Obama. His only fault is presiding while black.