Hopefully, any agreement that is ultimately reached will be one that excludes Chained CPI but the very fact that it's even being mentioned as a possible concession by the very president I just voted for to prevent it has me... and a hell of a lot of other destitute seniors... wondering just what the hell is going on again. Since it's a big topic on Twitter today, here's my two cents (adjusted for inflation) worth.
Like Peter Noone used to sing... "Second verse, same as the first".
Once again I had Mr. Obama's back during the campaign and through the election. And once again before we've even made it to Inauguration Day someone around him... is talking about concessions to the gutless cowards in congress that he knows damned well most of the American people don't want and that even many, if not most, rank and file REPUBLICANS don't want.
Why? What purpose can possibly be served by even talking about switching to Chained CPI to calculate COLAs for Social Security recipients? There is absolutely nothing to be gained from it since Social Security doesn't have a damned thing to do with the deficit. It's nothing but a damned smoke and mirrors magic trick... a distraction to let the GOP grandstand to their base on having to agree to tax cuts on the rich and ultimately avoid paying back the trillion or so bucks they've "borrowed" from the trust fund until such time as they can bring it under the control of the Wall Street banks.
For that matter, why has different indexing ALWAYS been used to calculate increases for people like me? Why aren't our cost of living increases based on the same indices as those of congress or of federal employees? And don't give me the usual ration of dog crap about "prag vs emo" or the "professional left".
I just went through a period of three years in which there was no COLA at all for two of them and the one we finally did get amounted to the smallest we've had since I started on SS seven years ago. On top of that, all five of the COLAS I HAVE gotten put together just barely equal what I've lost in SSI payments. In other words, I haven't gained an inch on inflation in the last seven years and if the truth were known, I've probably LOST ground.
And during that seven years, the cost of a gallon of gas or a loaf of bread or a half gallon of milk went up for me by exactly the same amount it did for everyone else. This isn't a matter of "isms" or any other kind of politics, it's a matter of whether (and what) people like me fricking eat on a daily basis.
And yet the "pragmatists" are in full voice on Twitter, playing their usual whack-a-mole game, trying to slap down tweets from seniors asking "WTF?". One total jerk even went so far as to pretty much say outright that it was worth sacrificing a few meals for senior citizens if it helped produce "meaningful reforms" in the long run.
You know what Mr. Middle Class Pragmatic Bozo? Fuck you! Let's you and I trade paychecks for a year and see what you have to say then. The problem with your line of so called "reasoning” is that people can't go hungry for the "long term". They can't go without their meds for the "long term". They can't meet the annual HUD rent increases for the "long term". It's fricking eat or die for them, just like it is for you.
When the people who call themselves Liberals and Progressives are tweeting that letting seniors go hungry might be a good thing, you might as well bring out the euthanasia squads and get it over with. And when they accuse you of being a "crybaby" or "turning on the president after six weeks" because you're worried about your next meal they can take their goddamned "long term" and put it in some warm smelly place as far as I'm concerned. I didn't turn on anybody but if Chained CPI for the poorest among us is a price he's willing to pay for for extending tax cuts for the middle class, I'm damned sure going to be feeling like the one who was "turned on".
And people wonder why I'm so skeptical about the "long term" goals of the middle class and whether or not they jibe with those of us who longer enjoy that position on the food chain. I've been standing up for the middle class since I first went on line 25 years ago. Still wondering when they're going to start standing up for me.