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Expanding Social Security essential

Social Security’s 86th birthday was Aug. 14 and as a retiree I know how important it is to our community. It helps seniors, persons with disabilities, widows and children who have lost a parent.

To improve the retirement security of older Americans, Congress must expand Social Security by providing an across-the-board increase for all current and future beneficiaries. Expanding benefits for everyone will give retirees a livable wage and boost the economy, since retirees spend most of their benefits locally.

We must also institute the CPI-E, the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), to calculate cost-of-living adjustments. The current measure used to calculate COLAs does not accurately measure the items seniors purchase -- seniors over 65 spend three times more on health care, including prescription drugs, than a young person, yet currently this is not factored into the formula.

If politicians tried to live on just the average Social Security benefit for a month, they would understand why we need to expand it.

Donna S. Dewitt of Orangeburg is president of the S.C. Alliance for Retired Americans.

When sugar is not so sweet

Congressman Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., is in the pocket of the nation’s beet and cane sugar cartels, costing South Carolinians dollars at the grocery store and jobs in the food industry. Clyburn continually votes to maintain the U.S. sugar program. Why? It’s really quite simple, Clyburn received well over $123,000 in political donations from the sugar cartels since 2010.

Thanks to Clyburn and others, the U.S. sugar program continues. The U.S. sugar program is a Soviet-style command-and-control scheme that restricts American planting and imports. This inflates the price of sugar in the United States to almost double the world price.

So when you go to the store to buy a snack cake or anything sweetened, you pay more. The U.S. sugar program means Americans pay $4 billion every year in increased grocery costs, which breaks down to $48 per household.

While all Americans feel the impact of the sugar lobby in the food they buy, many also feel it in the job market. High domestic sugar prices force confectionery manufacturers to cut costs, putting tens of thousands of Americans at risk of losing their jobs.

For every job defended by the sugar cartels, at least three jobs are lost in confectionery manufacturing. Thanks to politicians in Washington pandering to donors, sugar remains a rigged sector of the American economy.

In Rep. Clyburn’s 28 years in office, he repeatedly voted against reforming this corrupt system. This costs each South Carolinian family an additional $1,344 at the grocery store. It’s time for Congressman Clyburn to step up and end this costly government giveaway to the cartels.

The Independent Bakers’ Association is an international trade association that fights to protect the interests of mostly family owned wholesale bakers and allied trades. For more information about IBA and sugar program corruption, visit

Nicholas A. Pyle of Washington, D.C., is president of the Independent Bakers' Association.



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