Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Will Obama's Version Of Chained CPI Be Even Worse For Seniors Than Rest Of Population? YES, Says CBO

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Some call it Obama's "stealth" Social Security cut, and Brian Beutler of TPM, using Congressional Budget Office analyses, shows how that is true:

The report [.pdf] addressed and largely affirmed a key criticism of an inflation measure called Chained CPI, which among other things would reduce Social Security cost of living increases and kick people into higher income tax brackets, if adopted across the government.

The implicit finding: Chained CPI — which President Obama included as a compromise measure in his budget — will typically harm seniors more than the rest of the population.

(Bolds editorial.)

Just what we seniors need: another kick in the pocketbook. I don't know about you, but my carefully hoarded retirement savings are already draining pretty quickly. This is Obama's idea of a "compromise." Sounds pretty damned Republican to me; I don't see the compromise. But please read it yourself.


  1. it shouldn't be called a "compromise" unless he gets something back in return. the republicans haven't offered anything back, so it's not a compromise. at best, it's a concession. but that implies that there is some compelling reason to do it.

  2. 'noz, I'm convinced that, the needs of his voting base notwithstanding, Obama really, really wants to do this. He wants to undermine the social safety net that saw our parents' generation through their "golden" years (yeah, right) and would have, with very small tweaks, seen my generation through their old age. But no. We paid into the system all our working lives; now Obama wants to dismantle the system. Perhaps he will allow people who are, say, 60 and up to continue on what they planned for, but hey, too bad for you younger folks; Obama has a legacy to establish.

    Social Security is one of the great constructs of the New Deal. It has worked. It could work for longer... but Obama doesn't want it to work. Instead, he wants to be the president praised for ending the deficit. That kudos will never happen... Republican voters' minds don't work that way... but that won't stop him from making the attempt, burdening the aged, the young, the ill and the poor. Some "Democrat" he is turning out to be!

    1. i tend to disagree with people who believe that obama is plotting to ruin social security just because he hates it. i think it's more likely that he has been seduced by the stupid beltway conventional wisdom that cutting social security is somehow the "responsible thing to do." so rather than cutting, obama is proposing a new (much less generous) way of calculating the cost of living increases. that, i think, is how he sees it as a compromise. in that sense, he isn't really negotiating with the GOP, he's negotiating with the washington media establishment. never mind that his stance undermines any real chance to negotiate with the GOP, the actual people he should be paying attention to.

    2. 'noz, I have never believed (as some people clearly do) that Obama is a mean man, or an uncaring man. I do think he believes the work of Keynes has been deprecated, which IMHO it most certainly has not. That suggests to me that Stella is correct when she says that Obama is, at the core, really a Republican, running as a Democrat because that's how he can get elected.

      The Washingtion media establishment (the VSPs, as Krugman styles them) are a Very Serious Problem these days. Many purported "journalists" are in fact shills for the tiny wealthy element of society; indeed, many have more money themselves than any journalists in history. That places much of the weight of the media apparatus... the networks, especially... at the disposal of people who either believe things that simply aren't true (e.g., "Keynes has been debunked; read Hayek") or know those things aren't true but push them anyway to enhance their own financial positions. I'm afraid no representative democracy can last long if there is no independent free "press," i.e., media.

      In a way, Obama, in negotiating with the VSPs, is in fact negotiating with the real power base of his opposition, but there is no effective negotiation with them any more than with the GOP. Put me down for outright confrontation rather than negotiation; it can't possibly be less effective than what passes for negotiation these days.

  3. One who can compartmentalize inflicting suffering and death on others and yet, weep real tears over the New Town slaughter is a sociopath, no matter his eloquent rhetoric. Virtually everything he says is a lie. Obama may 'care' when he's in the right compartment, but basically, he is an opportunist monster bent on destroying the great society and all just inroads since FDR.

    1. karmanot, you may be right about that, but I tend to doubt it. Obama strikes me as someone trying very, very hard... way too hard... to be liked by everybody. That is, of course, impossible, because Republicans don't like anybody. I suspect Obama knows that intellectually, but cannot admit to himself that there's anyone in America he can't get along with. Obama's personality dooms us to a number of very bad things, but I'm not sure we are thus doomed because of his meanness or his personal insecurity.

    2. BTW, karmanot (and upyernoz), you may want to read the book The Party's Over by former Republican operative Mike Lofgren. He provides good insight into the Republican mindset and personality. Based on what he says, I tend to believe that for many of us, any kind of "meeting of minds" with Republicans is simply not possible, period.



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