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View Diary: “The History We Didn’t Know” About Last Year’s Grand Bargain Negotiations (505 comments)

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  •  That is a very uninformed comment. (21+ / 0-)

    You are wrong.  The purple line is current benefits. The bottom line shows how those benefits would be reduced by chained CPI. Even current benefits do not keep pace with rising costs for seniors, which is shown by the top line.

    The COLA adjustment also determines tax brackets. Changing it would be a two-pronged assault on the financial security of the middle class. It would cut the benefits they depend on in their senior years, while at the same time raising their taxes by pushing them into higher brackets. Guess who doesn't have to worry about this kind of "bracket creep"? Rich people. (They're already in the top bracket.)

    The average retired woman receives $890 in Social Security benefits, so the "chained CPI" cut would slash her benefits by almost $500 by the time she's 80. Here's how the cuts work out overall: By the age of 75, benefits would be cut by nearly 4%. By 85 that figure would be 6.5%, and by 95 it would be 9.2%. It gets much worse for younger people, because the effect is cumulative.

    The current CPI is not a realistic measurement of increasing costs for the elderly, as it does not weight health care costs, which fall on them disproportionately. Chained CPI is even further from their reality.

    This would also cut benefits for disabled veterans, but I suppose no one cares about that, either, now that we have Veterans Day behind us.

    The state races are more consequential for our daily lives than the presidential race. GOTV

    by 2laneIA on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 07:14:07 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  That's cheating. (10+ / 0-)

      You used data. Whiney, anti-Obama data from Red State. I'm going to have to HR that.

      And oh: Bookmarked. Many thanks.

      •  that chart assumes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sophie Amrain

        the phase-in of the 67-year retirement age is complete.  it's right there in the footnote.  

        that won't be true for another dozen years, though.  

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:27:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  and you also ignore the top line, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sophie Amrain

          which is the rate of spending for seniors.  which goes down with the obamacare medicare expansion.

          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

          by Cedwyn on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:29:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Whether the 67-year retirement is phased in... (11+ / 0-)

          ...or not is irrelevant. You claimed:

          all the chained CPI would do is decrease the cost of living increase; it wouldn't take anything away, only lower future COLA increases.
          The chart shows the effect of lowering future COLA increases. And lowering future COLA increase IS taking something away.

          But thanks for playing.

          •  way to take stuff out of context (0+ / 0-)

            here is my whole comment:

            all the chained CPI would do is decrease the cost of living increase; it wouldn't take anything away, only lower future COLA increases.

            since this is SS, this only applies to seniors.  the same seniors who now get free preventive screenings via medicare thanks to obamacare.  the same cohort that has already saved billions from obamacare closing the doughnut hole.

            even if they do chain CPI, it would be a wash for most seniors, i suspect.

            you cannot look at what the chained CPI will do to seniors without also looking at what medicare expansion and other programs are doing FOR seniors.  

            and again, that chart is based on circumstances that are a dozen years out.

            Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

            by Cedwyn on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 09:23:43 AM PST

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            •  You should also look at what the current CPI (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilJD, priceman, triv33, joanneleon, Ginger1

              is not doing:  taking seniors' higher medical costs into account.  Chained CPI decreases the extent to which even current CPI measures their cost of living.  So it is not a one-to-one comparison between a COLA decrease and a decrease in medicare costs.  We should be increasing benefits, not decreasing them.  I am no actuary or economist, but I have been reading articles by people who are for over a year, and the ones not in cahoots with Pete Peterson have their hair on fire over this.

              More here: http://strengthensocialsecurity.org/...

              The state races are more consequential for our daily lives than the presidential race. GOTV

              by 2laneIA on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 11:39:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  It's not cheating it's just not topical (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cedwyn, Sophie Amrain

        The graph you enjoy does not offer us the comparison it claims to. Cedwyn compared the impact of COLA changes as being offset by added value to the Medicare program. This chart does nothing, repeat nothing, to compare those values.

        That is not to say this chart is not interesting or valuable. It merely addresses a different topic.

        •  did you read the linked article? (0+ / 0-)

          somehow, these monthly decreases in SS payments leave seniors in a higher tax bracket.  say what now?

          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

          by Cedwyn on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:37:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I did not; thanks for saving me the time (0+ / 0-)
            somehow, these monthly decreases in SS payments leave seniors in a higher tax bracket.  say what now?
            Say what exactly. That does not recommend the article as worth the time needed to read it.
            •  damn...i was hoping (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Quicklund

              someone could explain it to me.

              Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

              by Cedwyn on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:44:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  First guess is simply sloppy work/typo (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cedwyn

                2nd guess disingenuity.

                3rd Underwear Gnomes?

                I took care of my invalid mother for years. Her SS payments were over the amount cited in this example, and she paid zero federal tax on that level of SS income. So I am wondering if tax brackets play a role at all with the most at-risk SS recipients.

              •  If somebody pays less they end up with a higher (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cedwyn

                taxable income? Which would get them in a higher bracket. Of course you normally assume it is good to end up in a higher bracket, because it means you earn more:-)

                He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

                by Sophie Amrain on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 10:03:56 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  It addresses Cedwyn's assertion: (6+ / 0-)
          all the chained CPI would do is decrease the cost of living increase; it wouldn't take anything away, only lower future COLA increases.
          It shows the effect of decreasing COLAs. And decreasing COLAs is taking something away. For some, it will be taking away the ability to pay for food and medicine.

          Cedwyn asserts without evidence that savings on health care will compensate for smaller COLAs. If Cedwyn had a graph showing how much seniors would save from changes to Medicare, that data could be compared to the data on the effect of chained CPI. But, of course, Cedwyn produced no such graph.

          •  No it does not (0+ / 0-)

            Cedwyn did not discuss any costs or expenses other than the impact of COLA changes and the potentially offsetting dollar value of added Medicare benefits.

            Show me the data on that chart which describe the dollar value of the additional Medicare services. They are not there. It is just that simple. Please.

            •  Can you really not read? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gooderservice, priceman, triv33
              all the chained CPI would do is decrease the cost of living increase; it wouldn't take anything away, only lower future COLA increases.
              1) Lowering COLA increases IS taking away a benefit.

              2) Show me that data on the dollar value of Medicare benefits that Cedwyn claims will offset the reduced Social Security benefits.

              •  One of us can it seems (0+ / 0-)

                Your point 1) Of course. No one said differently. "Duh" comes to mind.

                2) Cedwyn did not state the two factors would balance. She speculated that they would or would come close to doing so.

                My point: once again, the graph posted well upthread does not refute Cedwyn's speculation.

            •  Then please also include the impact of raising (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gooderservice, priceman, triv33

              the Medicare eligibility age which is also in the proposal.  Since they want to cut Medicare even more zealously than they want to cut Social Security assuming that people are going to come out of the deal with benefit levels unaffected is a real leap of faith.  Instead, we're likely to see increased Medicare costs taking a greater and greater bite into the smaller and smaller Social Security benefit.

    •  This graph does not address Cedywn's speculation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn

      You show no data on the dollar value of the Medicare increases which Cedwyn cited.

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