How Chained CPI Hurts African Americans

"Their lack of retirement wealth means that African-American seniors are heavily reliant on the Social Security benefits they earned. Indeed, 47 percent of African-Americans seniors rely on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income upon retirement compared to 33 percent of whites.

"In a twisted bit of policy logic, the Obama Administration is arguing that the "chained CPI" is a good idea because it represents "a more accurate measure of inflation" while also acknowledging that it's a bad idea from which economically vulnerable groups need to be protected by designating special exemptions. Among the vulnerable groups they seek to protect are the very old, those who are 76 years of age and older.

"The "chained CPI" would have a disproportionately negative impact on African-American retirees not only because they are more heavily reliant on Social Security benefits but also because they have the shortest life expectancies out of all of the major racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. and are the most likely to die before becoming eligible for the special exemption for the very old." [Read more]