What Social Security does

The new measure of poverty is out:

The nation’s poverty rate was 16.0 percent in 2012, unchanged from 2011, according to the supplemental poverty measure released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The 2012 rate was higher than the official measure of 15.0 percent. The official poverty rate in 2012 was also not significantly different from the corresponding rate in 2011.

That’s pretty bad which is why the US is cutting money from food stamps and worrying about the deficit. Now look at this:

Without adding Social Security benefits to income, the supplemental poverty rate overall would have been 8.6 percentage points higher (or 24.5 percent rather than 16.0 percent). People 65 and older had a supplemental poverty rate of 14.8 percent, equating to 6.4 million. Excluding Social Security would leave the majority of this population (54.7 percent or 23.7 million) in poverty.

In other words, Social Security is doing an amazing job at helping the elderly, which is why we should use chained CPI to lower the payouts for Social Security (even though most people are against it). Especially because:

The supplemental poverty rate for those 65 and older was 14.8 percent compared with only 9.1 percent using the official measure. Medical out-of-pocket expenses were a significant element for this group.

Obviously that means that the regular inflation rate is too high, we just need to get the elderly to cut back on their medical expenses.

Really we should be talking about expanding Social Security.

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