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Chu Blasts Deficit Commission's Proposal to Cut Social Security's Annual Cost of Living Increases

November 10, 2010
Press Release

"Balancing the budget on the backs of America's seniors is completely unacceptable."


WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., criticized a proposal from the co-chairs of President Obama's fiscal commission that would dramatically reduce Social Security Benefits.  The plan, unveiled to commission members today by co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, would reduce the annual cost-of-living increases in Social Security and raise the retirement age to 68. 

"Balancing the budget on the backs of America's seniors is completely unacceptable," Chu said.  "This recession already forced local governments to slash services for seniors across the country – at a time they're already struggling.  Cutting the benefits they receive from Social Security only puts their economic security at even greater risk.

"The President’s fiscal commission is doing important work, but it's disingenuous to try to decrease the national debt by 'fixing' Social Security problems that don't exist.  Social Security is separate from the budget and doesn't add a penny to the deficit.  I worry that those who say it's broken simply want to break it themselves." 

By law, Social Security is separate from the budget and must pay for itself – making it completely budget neutral.  According to data from the official Social Security actuary, the program will have a $4.3 trillion surplus by 2023.  And it will be able to pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever. 

Last year was the first year without a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase since automatic adjustments for inflation began in 1975.  Almost 73,000 residents of Chu's Congressional District currently receive assistance from Social Security. 

Representative Judy Chu was elected in July 2009 to the U.S. House of Representatives as the Representative of California's 32nd District, which includes East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.  She is a member of the House Judiciary, Government Oversight, and Education and Labor Committees. 

Congresswoman Chu’s career in politics spans 24 years.  A lifelong educator, Congresswoman Chu taught community college classes in Los Angeles and East Los Angeles for 20 years. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology and a B.A. in mathematics.