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Elizabeth Warren: ‘Make No Mistake, There Is a [Retirement] Crisis’

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Posted on Nov 21, 2013
(AP/Stephan Savoia)

According to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, families spend less on flexible purchases than they did a generation ago, even after adjusted for inflation.

After The Washington Post mocked the idea of Americans facing a looming retirement crisis, the inimitable Elizabeth Warren took to the Senate floor to remind us that talking about Social Security benefits isn’t about “math, [it’s] about our values.”

In a speech made Monday, the Massachusetts Democrat catalogs the many ways in which, as “the economic security of our families [is] unraveling” Social Security has become more important than ever. And yet, politicians want to cut this vital lifeline under the guise of using a Chained CPI, which Warren exclaims “falls short of the actual increases in costs that seniors face.” She urges the government to adopt the CPI-E measure that would increase benefits to more realistically address the growing “$6.6 trillion gap between what Americans under 65 are currently saving and what they will need to maintain their current standard of living when they hit retirement.”

The senator also reminds us that unlike Wall Street, the culprits of the devastation Americans face today, “working families didn’t ask for a bailout.” They continued to struggle, to work, to find ways to make ends meet in the face of a growing wealth divide and anemic social programs as banks cashed in on taxpayers’ hard-earned money. Now is not the time to continue to cut funding where it hurts people the most, but rather to honor our national identity, Warren declares, and “support the right of every person to retire with dignity.” This is how we can strengthen our economy to “build a future for our kids” in which “the most vulnerable have a strong safety net,” which is really the least we can do.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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