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View Diary: Obama pushes chained CPI in town hall meeting (358 comments)

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  •  Why this is a big deal (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, royalscam, elwior, Dem Beans

    here's what the Social Security Administration wrote to Rep. Xavier Becerra regarding the new way of calculating inflation for Social Security that the President is talking about:

    Additional annual COLAs thereafter would accumulate to larger total reductions in expected scheduled benefit levels of about 3.7 percent, 6.5 percent, and 9.2 percent for retirees at ages 75, 85, and 95, respectively. http://www.ssa.gov/...

    I guess this might be a big deal to you if you don't want people's Social Security benefits to be cut.  Unless you're one of those folks who thinks the President is just "bluffing."

    "In the long run, Americans will always do the right thing — after exploring all other alternatives." - Winston Churchill

    by puakev on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 11:17:54 AM PDT

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    •  Let me just repeat this, the President said: (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Churchill, Sylv, Beetwasher, elwior, doroma
      I do think, in terms of how we calculate inflation, that's important as well.

      Now obviously there was a plan already floated that would result in the estimated benefit reductions you refer to. The President did not endorse that plan just now.

      Now, nobody wants to see retirees who reach age 95 30 some odd years from now to only receiving 90.8 cents on the dollar of what they would expect under the existing law.

      But I still say this is some seriously hypersensitive hand waving.

      `You needn't go on making remarks like that, ... they're not sensible, and they put me out.'

      by seanwright on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 11:30:56 AM PDT

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      •  So (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, royalscam, elwior, emal, schnecke21

        what other plan could he possibly be talking about?  The only plan I've seen mentioned regarding "how we calculate inflation" is this chained CPI.  Jason Furman, who is one of the top economists in the administration, has voiced support for the idea of a chained CPI before.  Nor is it a secret that the Obama administration and some Democrats were floating this idea during the debt talks.

        Besides, if this is just some trial balloon being floated by President Obama, then isn't it incumbent on those of us opposed to any Social Security benefit cuts to shoot it out of the sky as quickly and as furiously as possible?

        "In the long run, Americans will always do the right thing — after exploring all other alternatives." - Winston Churchill

        by puakev on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 11:43:48 AM PDT

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        •  Well, there are ways of tweaking the chained CPI (0+ / 0-)

          to ameliorate the harm such as adjusting the benefit floor.

          `You needn't go on making remarks like that, ... they're not sensible, and they put me out.'

          by seanwright on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 11:49:49 AM PDT

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          •  Still amounts to a cut for most beneficiaries (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, elwior

            yes, at least a benefit floor won't allow benefits to go below a certain amount, however any way you shake it a chained CPI results in a benefit cut for the vast, vast majority of social security recipients.

            In any event, are you saying you support a chained CPI now?  I mean, you went from saying that we shouldn't freak out because President Obama has not endorsed a chained CPI, but now you're saying a chained CPI won't be so bad if there's a benefit floor.  So are you saying that we shouldn't freak out even if the President has endorsed a chained CPI?  I'm just trying to find out the consistency here in your reasoning here.

            "In the long run, Americans will always do the right thing — after exploring all other alternatives." - Winston Churchill

            by puakev on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 12:35:48 PM PDT

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            •  I am not for a chained CPI. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Beetwasher

              At the same time, I don't think a chained CPI would be the end of the world either and I don't think that the fact that the President failed to slam the door shut on any discussion of changing the COLA is something that ought to set hair on fire.

              It just seems to me like a lot of people divide policy into two catgories: stuff they support and stuff that sets them to running around with their hair on fire.

              I have a lot of different boxes I put thing into. For example on Social Security: Raising the cap on the payroll tax goes in the "yes please" box, George Bush's privatization plan goes in the "no fucking way" box, and chained CPI goes in the "I'd rather not but let's look at the full proposal" box.

              `You needn't go on making remarks like that, ... they're not sensible, and they put me out.'

              by seanwright on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 12:43:11 PM PDT

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              •  Well a chained CPI = benefits cuts (0+ / 0-)

                so are benefit cuts in the "no fucking way" box or not?  Because while it wouldn't be the "end of the world" as you put it, I will say that such cuts would set on fire the hair of my various co-workers and friends who are approaching retirement.  They've seen their retirement savings lose considerable value in the past few weeks and years and are terrified at the prospect of having already meager Social Security benefits cut.

                So while this might just be an abstract discussion of policy for you, for folks I care deeply about this is a very real issue that directly affects their livelihoods and their futures.  That is why I and many here are so frantic about potential benefit cuts.  It's not about deciding to root for or against President Obama.  This is about my friends and their looming retirements, which will become much, much more difficult if benefits are cut.

                "In the long run, Americans will always do the right thing — after exploring all other alternatives." - Winston Churchill

                by puakev on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 12:58:40 PM PDT

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                •  No need to do the self righteous routine. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Beetwasher

                  Thi affects me and my loved ones just as much as anyone you know. I'm 40 with a negative net worth. My father's disabled and has relied on social security disability benefits for approximately 13 years now. So when I think about social security I'm thinking of it in terms of my own future and the futures of people I care about. And it is in that context that I say a slight reduction in what are already meager benefits might be something I could live with.

                  `You needn't go on making remarks like that, ... they're not sensible, and they put me out.'

                  by seanwright on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 01:12:01 PM PDT

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                  •  Self righteous? (0+ / 0-)

                    I was addressing this assertion of yours:

                    It just seems to me like a lot of people divide policy into two catgories: stuff they support and stuff that sets them to running around with their hair on fire.

                    So I was merely explaining why it is that people like myself have my "hair on fire."  Am I not allowed to honestly respond to your description without being accused of self-righteousness?  Because your insinuation is that having my "hair on fire" over Social Security benefit cuts is unnecessary or over the top.  Well I have given you my answer as to why it is that important and for you to assume that it's self-righteousness on my part is quite callous and presumptuous.

                    "In the long run, Americans will always do the right thing — after exploring all other alternatives." - Winston Churchill

                    by puakev on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 01:24:57 PM PDT

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                  •  why? (0+ / 0-)
                    And it is in that context that I say a slight reduction in what are already meager benefits might be something I could live with.

                    in a time of record corporate profit, low-ass corporate taxes, and a bloated defense budget, why would you be okay with any decrease in your benefits? benefits that are already meager?

          •  There is no good reason (0+ / 0-)

            to modify the CPI formula except to make it more accurately reflect the prices of things that seniors spend their money on. None.

            Modifying the CPI formula in order save money - whether it's by going to chained CPI or some other change - is unjustifiable. That seems to clearly be the context here.

            We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

            by denise b on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 06:12:55 PM PDT

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      •  10 % reduction already happened last year (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        seanwright, elwior

        see Harper's magazine.  They have changed the way the COLA is calculated about 18 times in 30 years.  If the way the calculated it in the 1st COLA year was still used there would have been 10 % inflation last year, and thus a 10 % benefit increase.  

        Don't you love the liberal, fire-breathing FDResque president?  Don't you?

        80 % of success is JUST SHOWING UP ! ! !

        by Churchill on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 11:53:23 AM PDT

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      •  He was talking about how (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        denise b
        you could actually save so much money
        If he wasn't talking about benefit cuts, how on earth could "so much money" be saved?

        Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

        by Ian S on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 01:49:21 PM PDT

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