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View Diary: Chained CPI: The wrong solution to a problem that doesn't exist (91 comments)

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  •  It's Intended as a Distraction (8+ / 0-)

    Chained-CPI and all the talk about changing Social Security are just intended to keep us from focusing on the real issues. Far more important than any of this deficit talk is the issue of wages and employment. We wouldn't even be having this discussion if we had attended to the important stuff.

    What would a real winning strategy look like? Well...

    It would keep us out of wars, cut the military budget, end stupid stuff like drug prohibition, move to a universal publicly-funded healthcare system, institute a real international minimum wage, invest in renewable energy, divest from fossil fuels, and put some real money into research, development and education.
    The whole purpose of the Republican agenda is to keep people from focusing on the real issues. They spend all their time talking about chained-CPI, abortion, walling off the southern border, and the like. These are completely useless ideas that have the same intent--keep people from focusing on the major issues.

    That's why, Joan, we need to take the Social Security issue back to what it's really about--wages and employment. We should never leave that out of the discussion. If they found out that every time they started talking about Social Security the discussion ended with people asking, "Where is my raise?" they would quickly shut up about it.

    •  Were income more equitable, (7+ / 0-)

      there wouldn't be any projected Social Security payout shortfall. It's the concentration of income at the top and above the cap that's the problem.

      Even better than raising the cap would be to flatten the income curve. That means enforcing laws upon the powerful and, yes, some application of socialist policies. And that takes sustained mass public pressure and some brave and outspoken leadership.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 07:37:17 PM PDT

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      •  As a long-term solution, I agree (about raising (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        wages and reducing inequality).

        But I can't see where that solution addresses the problems and hardships caused by implementing the Chained CPI, and/or other ill-conceived 'fixes' which have been proposed.  And, which are apparently under consideration in the not so distant future.


        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        by musiccitymollie on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 09:08:18 PM PDT

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        •  To clarify, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musiccitymollie, Just Bob

          the comment was addressing Social Security's revenue intake, without considering changes to its outlays...

          Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

          by Simplify on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 09:53:22 PM PDT

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        •  It Raises Revenue (0+ / 0-)

          Increased earnings for workers (higher wages and more people working) automatically raise Social Security revenue because Social Security revenue is directly related to earnings. Each additional dollar earned by workers results in about 10 cents more going to Social Security.

          It is the only real way to address this problem. There's no point in cutting benefits because all we're doing then is shifting the burden to retirees.

          Increasing earnings isn't intended to address the problems created by these ill-conceived fixes. It's intended to replace them with an actual solution.

          •  Clearly, I understand the relationship between (0+ / 0-)

            increasing wages and raising Social Security revenue.  But I don't see wages increasing any time soon, nor do I see the political will to remedy this problem, or the problem of inequality.  And continued high UE rates will only serve to further depress wages.

            Some of the Administration's policies exacerbate the problem.  You may have noticed Jim P's comment above, about the TPP.  

            And, of course, there's the Gang of Eight's  proposed [Senate] immigration bill which includes a provision to greatly increase the number of H-1B Visas, which certainly may negatively affect (depress) the wages of many professional jobs over time.  

            I've heard a detailed discussion on C-Span of so-called 'protections' that were included.  Bottom line, of course, the government absolutely is not going to dictate what business pays employees. They enforcement of these protections will be weak, because of the bill language.

            Trade policy is not something that I follow closely.  But I must say, the occasional article that I've read about this issue, sounds real alarm bells regarding its negative impact on labor.

            Anyway, thanks for your input, LT.  I would never disagree with the premise that after thirty plus years of wage decline for the bulk of Americans, we need to pursue a change of course.  ;-)  

            But I don't view this solution as one that is going to help our immediate fight regarding proposed cuts to Social Security and  means testing Medicare (the cuts presently on-the-table, that is).

            Here's the NY Times article (4/5/13) confirming the Administration's inclusion of these cuts in their 2013-2014 Budget.

            Obama Budget to Include Cuts to Programs in Hopes of Deal

            By JACKIE CALMES, Published: April 5, 2013

            — President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say.

            I've posted the 2012-2013 Budget and the Administration's Proposal to the Supercommittee in 2011, on several occasions.  Both documents outline numerous cuts to Medicare (including ones that even pertain to the "Medigap" policies).  The NYT's and other news outlet implications that 'this is something new,' is simply incorrect.

            Guess it's just more Kabuki!


            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


            by musiccitymollie on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:56:07 AM PDT

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    •  I appreciate your optimism, LT, but nothing I've (0+ / 0-)

      read gives me the impression that the wonderful 'wish list' above is even remotely 'on the neoliberal plate.'

      We know that the Administration endorses the Fiscal Commission's Chairman's Mark, 'The Moment Of Truth,' as the 'framework' for a Grand Bargain.

      And that the Commission's proposals don't even resemble the ones that you present above.  Obviously, I like your solutions much better.

      And respectfully, I tend to think that the topic of 'austerity,' or The Grand Bargain (raising taxes at the same time that our basic, structural social insurance programs are cut) should be front and center--every day.

      Which is not to say that we can't, and shouldn't also call for higher wages and job creation.  

      But it's my sincere hope, and belief, that progressives can 'walk and chew gun' at the same time.  ;-)


      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      by musiccitymollie on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 09:01:20 PM PDT

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