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View Diary: Don't cut Social Security, expand it (105 comments)

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  •  Chained CPI is actually widely respected (0+ / 0-)

    by economists. It wasn't invented as a means of keeping Social Security solvent, it was invented in an attempt to more accurately capture true consumer inflation. There are great arguments though that it underestimates inflation, and is thus a poorer measure than the CPI used today. The bottom line is that the differences are not "drastic", any more than the use of chained CPI, in itself, results in "austerity". The Greeks cut social security payments almost in half! We're talking about a small change in how much SS increases every year.

    •  "respected by economists" (18+ / 0-)

      Atrios is an economist - he doesn't "respect it". So is Krugman. So is Baker. So are a lot of other people who agree with them. That claim of yours would be funny if it wasn't so Republican - and the economists who respect it are largely Republicans or (distinction without a difference) DLC'ers or centrists.

      And of course you're missing the larger point that Social Security benefits shouldn't be cut at all - they should increase, particularly for the coming generations which won't have defined benefit pension plans and won't be able to save for retirement because of stagnant wages, high unemployment, student debt and all the other problems destroying the middle class and making the poor even worse off. Chained CPI lowers their future benefits drastically at the same time the economy offers them no alternative to offset those cuts.

      The quality of your comment is evident in your desire to see us be just like Greece, where the economy is circling the drain and people are in the streets. You apparently would applaud Greece's unemployment levels, which are approximately what we had in 1932. Some of us would like to see our country be somewhat better than that.

      Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

      by badger on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:04:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How "drastic" the cut is, depends upon one's (14+ / 0-)

      circumstances.

      I spent over thirty years advocating for the poorest, most vulnerable and disenfranchised members of our society, and I can tell you that IT IS a drastic cut to someone who lives on nothing but disability, SSI, or in many cases, even a full monthly Social Security benefit check, if that is an individual's ONLY source of income.

      So, are we to want to emulate the Greeks now.  Or 'feel relieved' if things are worse there, than here, LOL!

      Pleeeezzzz!  Never thought that I'd hear someone at DKos arguing that we shouldn't complain unless things here get as bad as they are in Greece, for Pete's Sake! ;-D

      Seriously, Bowles-Simpson's recommendations in their proposal call for not only Chained CPI, but raising the retirement age and means testing, all of which I expect to see implemented by the end of this Administration.  [Some of these cuts will surely come AFTER the midterms.]

      Here's what Jan Schakowsky, US Rep from IL, and member of the Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission says in her Reuters Op-Ed "The Sham Of Simpson-Bowles."

      Somehow, being willing to cut “entitlement” benefits has been called a “badge of courage” for those who purport to be serious about deficit reduction– despite the fact that Social Security has not contributed one thin dime to the deficit.

      Under Simpson-Bowles, long-term solvency for Social Security is achieved mostly by cutting benefits. Seventy-five years out, the ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases is 4 to 1.

      They propose raising the age of full Social Security benefits to 69 – claiming that everyone is living longer. But a sizable percentage of Americans, mostly lower-income workers, especially women, are actually living shorter lives, and a large chunk of other Americans just can’t work that long – even if they can find a job. Their plan cuts benefits for current and future retirees by reducing the cost-of-living adjustment.

      For future retirees, all these changes taken together would reduce the average annual benefit for middle-income workers – those with annual earnings of $43,000 to $69,000 – by up to 35 percent.

      Hope you check out the video discussion that I'm planning to post here.  I will post it in this diary as a comment, instead of a standalone diary (for now).
      BTW, 'austerity' by definition IS the raising of taxes, at the same time that basic, structural social insurance programs (especially retirement and medical) are cut.
      Here's a link to Bowles-Simpson's recommendations for those of you who haven't read their proposals for "austerity"--which of course they are trying to sell to an unsuspecting public as 'pro-growth' policies.

      Please read it folks.  Don't be confused by the doublespeak that you hear from politicians.  

      The information is out there.  It's just hidden in plain sight.  ;-)

      Mollie

      "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:06:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  there have been good diaries (9+ / 0-)

      on this - the difference get drastic over time.

      And chained CPI is controversial....and is absolutely a cut from how SS increases are currently calculated.

    •  "True consumer inflation"? In other words, (4+ / 0-)

      it makes a declining standard of living normative; and indeed, imposes it by assuming people - as their income stagnates and fails to keep up with the quality of goods the are accustomed to buying, buy lower quality goods. By indexing inflation to this assumption, it goes from reflecting this declining standard of living to imposing.

      Fuck every single economist that respects this imposed austerity bullshit.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 04:41:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not widely respected. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musiccitymollie

      If it were, you'd have links to such wideness.

      It's a policy that gets pushed by the people that are paid to push it. Period.

      •  So all of the economists who have published (0+ / 0-)

        research on this topic or come out in support of chained CPI as a better measure of the inflation felt by consumers have been paid? You believe that there is some huge under-the-table conspiracy in which all those economists are paid? I know you don't. At least admit that some economists legitimately like it, even if you don't agree with with.

        •  Actually I do. (0+ / 0-)

          Economists are taught to toe the monied elite's line. That why MMT and people Like Dean and Krugman and Stiglitz are so amazing, because the data is there to refute long held bullshit. It's in black and white. Several individuals that have the grasp and the ability to translate it into digestible info.

          Consider how economists are paid. They are either profs, work in some sort of costing/forecasting for private industry, OR they are political props, writers for well financed vehicles like WSJ, or they work for the government.

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