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Whether it's the Boehner plan or the Reid plan or who knows what plan, Social Security "reform" is all the rage. The immediate reform that appears to be in everyone's deck is the chained CPI, a new formula for the consumer price index on which cost of living adjustments will be based. The chained CPI is predicated on a "substitution effect," taking into account how consumers react to rising prices—if the cost of one thing goes up, consumers respond by substituting something cheaper. So it really is in keeping with the Catfood Commission. When seniors can't afford to buy chicken, beef, or pork, it'll be Friskies.

But it's not just seniors (or veterans) who would be hurt by this new formula. That's because it would also be used to determine tax brackets, and just guess who will get hit hardest [pdf] when it comes to taxes:

  • The chained CPI would raise taxes on all middle class families—while leaving millionaires and billionaires virtually untouched. The Tax Policy Center found that by 2021, households with incomes of about $137,216 or less, which make up the bottom 80% in the income scale, would see their average tax rates go up more than households with incomes of $137,217 or more, which make up the top 20% of the income scale (0.2% vs. 0.1%). Worse, the top 0.1% would see virtually no change in their average federal tax rate. [See Figure 1 below.]
  • The chained CPI would raise taxes on the middle class at a time when progressivity in the tax code is at its lowest point in decades. We should be thinking about ways to shift the tax burden back on to people who can most afford to pay, not how to collect more taxes from the middle class.

This information is based, in part, on the Tax Policy Center's report, "Tax Parameters Indexed with Chained CPI, Current Policy." Based on that, the analysts at the Strengthen Social Security coalition conclude:

Application of the Chained CPI will increase taxes over time for low and moderate income taxpayers in at least three meaningful ways. Tax bracket thresholds will grow more slowly, so low and moderate income taxpayers will more quickly have earnings that put them into higher tax brackets; growth in the standard deductions (more frequently used by low and moderate income households) would grow more slowly; and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Children’s Tax Credit (CTC) eligibility thresholds will rise more slowly, more quickly disqualifying lower-income households from these benefits.

Of course, because having a middle class in this country is overrated.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 02:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Social Security Defenders, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Uhmmm who is this group? Tax (0+ / 0-)

      brackets don't change according to the cpi or anything. They only change when congress and the Pres pass a lw to change them.

      Sorry this is simply wrong. COLA of any type don't affect tax brackets.

      Sounds like someones propaganda outlet.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 03:42:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's Another Article on the Same Subject (0+ / 0-)
    •  This stuff isn't really true... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Above59th
      The chained CPI is predicated on a "substitution effect," taking into account how consumers react to rising prices—if the cost of one thing goes up, consumers respond by substituting something cheaper.

      It's not how consumers react to rising prices - it's how consumers react to changing relative prices. The distinction is important. If people get poorer and start buying catfood instead of regular food, that is not a substitution because of a relative price change - that is a substitution to an inferior good. And actually, it's not even that because catfood is not an inferior good in the same category as people food. Talk like this takes the discussion into crazy land - which is exactly where some people here want it to go, because they can't win the argument on the merits.

      Also, your chart doesn't say what you think it does. It actually shows that this is a progressive tax. Only 57.2% of the tax falls on the bottom 80% of the people. I know you didn't break that group up, but if you did, you'd find that a lot of that 57.2% falls on those in the $100,000+ segment of that group. Meanwhile, the other 42.8% falls on the top 20% of earners. This is a progressive tax! The top 5% absorb 16.3% of the increased taxes. The top 0.1% absorb 0.7%, or roughly 7 times more per capita than would fall on the average person.

      Try looking at things another way.

      by atheistben on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 09:40:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  thank you -- I hope people who defend this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    as a reasonable and pragmatic proposal read your post.

    "'Things would be a lot worse without us,' is not a winning campaign slogan." Barney Frank

    by cassandraX on Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 03:47:31 PM PDT

  •  Thank for enlightening us on this proposal. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psnyder, Dem Beans, beltane, on the cusp

    This would hurt seniors, of which I am one, whose primary income source is Social Security.  The seniors I've talked to either don't know this proposal has been laid on the table or don't grasp the concept of "Chained-CPI" and how it would affect them.

    If people are aware that it would have the broad effect you cite, then there likely will be sufficient support to fight it.

    Whenever men take the law into their own hands, the loser is the law. And when the law loses, freedom languishes. Robert Kennedy

    by watchbird on Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 07:11:29 PM PDT

  •  Lots of job creation and wage growth would (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psnyder, mike101, COBALT1928, mon

    guarantee SS past 2085.

    Raising the cap to 170k and some new jobs, and some wage growth guarantee SS past 2085.

    Lots of job creation and wage growth, raising the cap to 170k, allows Social Security to introduce a new poverty related minimum benefit and  a small increase in COLA's... SS will still be solvent thru 2085....

    Increase payroll tax rate by 1% in 2013 and some new jobs, and some wage growth guarantee SS past 2085.

    Lots of job creation and wage growth, raise the cap to 250k, introduce poverty related minimum benefits and increase COLA's by 0.5% SS will still be solvent thru 2085....

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 09:03:07 PM PDT

    •  You don't want a minimum benefit (0+ / 0-)

      that failed once since people who never paid in claimed it.

      There already in a slant toward low income beneficiaries. They get a higher payout which decreases as you go up the income scale.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 03:45:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People have to pay in for 40 quarters to receive (0+ / 0-)

        any benefit, so I don't see how having a minimum benefit could lead to people who did not pay in receiving it.

        I do support a minimum benefit, and if there is a minimum benefit attached to it, I don't mind the .25% lowered raise in my COLA.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:44:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If we start 'assuming the extension of' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver

    the Bush tax cuts we are fucking doomed.  That is a god damn line we have to draw in the sand.  If the Bush tax cuts are still in place in 2021 we all will have failed miserably.

  •  I just can't get that mad... (0+ / 0-)

    I really just can't get that mad about changes to the chained CPI IF (and only IF) the savings are not used for anything other than keeping SS solvent past 2037.  The original intent was to keep purchasing power constant, and the chained CPI does that.  If it means SS is good for 60-100 years, then fine.  

    •  you can't get mad (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xynz, pot

      because you are obviously not receiving a COLA-based benefit.

      I survive on 974 dollars a month from the Department of Veterans Affairs.  As it is now, the CPI keeps constantly diminishing purchasing power.  If you don't believe me, then I invite you to come live on my VA check for a few months.

      I've already sacrificed for my country, just how much more sacrifice will you demand?

      Perhaps we should tax your cheap gas that the military has kept at low prices this last decade, that would keep social security solvent and maybe demand some shared sacrifice from my fellow Americans

      "What's disgusting? Union busting!" 17.02.2011 Madison, WI

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 12:36:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  COLA was 0 the last two years. (0+ / 0-)

        CPI would have been higher.

        At least for SS.

        And no one has talked about anything BUT SS. They don't all have to be the same.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 03:48:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, that's absolutely dead wrong (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pot
          And no one has talked about anything BUT SS. They don't all have to be the same.

          my correspondence from the VA last Saturday
          Dear Jeff Dem,
          This is to certify that the records of the Department of Veterans Affairs disclose that Jeff Dem has been awarded compensation benefits in the monthly amount of $974.00 effective December 1, 2008. [because of no COLA since then]
          The Social Security Administration (SSA) did not receive a cost of living allowance (COLA) this year.  The VA Compensation and Pension benefits COLA is paid based on the SSA COLA.  The Compensation COLA by statute may not be more than the SSA COLA and the VA Pension COLA is equal to the SSA COLA.  Because of this statute, VA Compensation and Pension recipients will not receive a COLA this year...
          Sincerely,
          Carl Thunell
          National Call Center Manager

          I've been getting COLA based checks for quite some time now.  COLA never keeps up with cost of living even when we got one.  That effective date is the date of the last COLA increase.  No (official) inflation in the CPI means no cost of living adjustment.

          But everything is more expensive nonetheless

          "What's disgusting? Union busting!" 17.02.2011 Madison, WI

          by Jeffersonian Democrat on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:25:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  all cuts or anything related to SS (0+ / 0-)

      stays in the SS stream.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 03:46:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Despite having the wind in its sails (11+ / 0-)

    in 2008, the Democrats in government have done everything they could to shred those sails and let the Republicans (the Republicans!) overtake them.

    It would be astonishing if it weren't evident that the Democratic Party has just become the less grotesque face of corporatism.

    Is this really the best we can do?

    "It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." George Carlin

    by psnyder on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 08:07:39 PM PDT

    •  One way to help explain why people don't rise up (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psnyder, COBALT1928, MikePhoenix

      is that American citizens do not really see themselves as anything more than people occupying a nation owned by their betters.

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 08:15:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nothing is going to happen to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psnyder

      SS or Medicare Reid said.  

      "Nobody will touch a single grey hair on the beautiful head of Medicare or Social Security and no revenues." He gave up revenues to protect the social net.

      Obama said last Friday that he backed it.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 03:51:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An example of plutocracy in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xynz

    America.

    The TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) - bond instruments that adjust for inflation - are based on the Consumer Price Index(CPI) and not the Chained CPI.  

    I believe the CPI for TIPS is the non-adjusted CPI.

    Guess who are the principal buyers of TIPS.

    "Truth exists, only falsehood has to be invented." Georges Braque

    by vetforobama on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 08:18:04 PM PDT

    •  old people looking for protected (0+ / 0-)

      stabile income.

      Americans including institutions own 48% of treasuries; China about 9%.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 03:54:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since your statistics (0+ / 0-)

        seem to be for all treasuries - without a citation one cannot tell - they mislead about who buys TIPS.

        It is my experience that it is wealthy people who directly buy bonds, notes, TIPS, and bills - savings bonds being the possible exception. But then my initial post discussed TIPS.

        Also, I do not think TIPS can be purchased for the Social Security trust fund.

        "Truth exists, only falsehood has to be invented." Georges Braque

        by vetforobama on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 05:00:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for doing this Joan. (3+ / 0-)

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 08:21:23 PM PDT

  •  My newest mantra (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aggressiveprogressive, dgil

    is that we are cruelly governed.
    I went past ineptly governed during this debt ceiling non-debate.
    Cruel.  
    Putting the old folks on ice floes cruel.

    Progressives are on the right side of history every time.

    by on the cusp on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 08:21:50 PM PDT

  •  Excellent, points to the danger of fake statistics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xynz

    I've rarely seen as much misinformation in circulation as during the current budget fiasco which doesn't make the other months since Obama was inaugurated were trivial.

    Sadly, some of the people who are ostensibly progressive have joined in the repetition of the bogus statistics. Which is not something McCarter is doing with the usual reliable material.

    More importantly, the mask has not yet dropped. What we're watching is the beginning of an all out assault on Social Security and virtually any part of the safety net.

    Worth pointing out that George W. Bush is the first Republican president since FDR to attempt to start taking apart Social Security. And we can all see what happened to him. I don't know how long the line can be held against the barrage of falsity in circulation.

    It has to be stopped and whatever relatively minor problems exist can be fixed appropriately. One reason we're under such attack here is that in effect the cover provided by social security surpluss gave him the ability to provide large grants to the very wealthy financial by the Middle Class, those making under $100,000 a year.

    •  Are you kidding? First who (0+ / 0-)

      started to take apart? Go read some of the history of SS.

      http://www.ssa.gov/...

      The Republicans have been trying to kill it since 1936.

      Nothing is happening now. This article is simply misleading.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:04:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who are you kidding? Get your history right first. (0+ / 0-)

        Having been around almost that long, I know more than you think ... and i've done research at SSA and every other place you can think about for years. Don't be so know-it-all.

        The Republians of their old right, the Taft sort of right winger,  started trying to kill it in 1933 before it was even born. That might have even been widely supported in their party, but they didn't have a president in office. READ WHAT I actually said,

        There is a point to be made here. The right wing Republicans, i.e. those who have pushed out the relatively moderates and the few liberals of the party, have given way to the extremists of the old HL Hunt variety who used to froth at the mouth about Social Security.

        So have some presidential candidates sometimes, but with the exception of George W. Bush, every single Republican president since FDR has ended up supporting Social Security and usually improving it. And having been around for Nixon's on, I don't remember them making it an issue in a campaign. For the most part they paid it lip service at a minimum. The crackpot schemes they'd like, are usually a mess actuarially.

        To wit, Dwight Eisenhower was responsible for the very first inclusion of Disability Retirement, the exect program was have today. There were other improvements made under Ike. And one of the strongest statements made about the stupidity of trying to get rid of Social Socurity.

        Richard Nixon made substantial increases to Social Security that were in lieu of Cost of Living increases. The CPI adjustments did not begin until 1975 as a result of legislation passed in 1972. You might want to refer to a bit of history to find out that a Democrat was not in the White House.

        Ronald Reagan frequently talked about doing away with it or making it voluntary. For some reason he gave up on that idea and in 1983 took part in the grand bargain after several years of SSA taxes not meeting outgo, that raised SSA taxes and made  number of other changes, with Democrats, e.g. Tip O'Neil, to "save" Social Security.

        George H.W. Bush was involved in SSA while Veep and as President supported it in a State of union speech, other speeches and then during the campaign in 1992 that he lost to Clinton. I don't really fell like to looking up the sources again but you can find presidential remarks on the SSA History section of their Web Site. And, without looking it up, I can tell you that Eisenhowers early support can be found on Snopes, with the quote in question coming from Ike in a letter to his brother who had written complaining about SSA, too liberal, etc. About his own brother.

        The fact that right wing extremists have always favored dumping the social welfare system, The GOP presidents have not. And none of those clowns until the Bush NUT I, were stupid enough to pander for those votes, knowing it's political dynamite.

        There's also a different between wanting to do something and actually making an effort to do it. Ending SSA has been a fevered dream of the right for many years and they have waged a campaign mostly of words to kill support for it.

        But what we'e looking at now is a first. We've had a GOP president, Bush, call for private savings plans. We have a House Budget Committee chair who lusts after these problems. His bills with this silly shit used to go directlyinto committee wastebaskets. Now they go to the top of the heap.

        If you bothered to read actuarial files going back  few decades you'd be aware that GOP Senators and House mates are asking the actuary to do calculations on a whole range of ways to cut social security. You might want to read some before you take a cheap should.

        There was a time when the Republican caucus would actually work with Democrats at some level on things like Medicare and Social Security.

        And if you read a little more, you'd know that this is the first time the Roadmap, now known as the "path to prosperity, has been around know for quite some time.

  •  Till this whole Debt Ceiling crap I was totally (5+ / 0-)

    against Primary Challenger's of any kind to President Obama BUT I do believe I'm changing my Mind about that,Big-Time.One big reason I've not yet decided is that Nader is totally for it an it pisses me off to be agreeing with him on anything since 2000.

    •  great. welcome the next R (0+ / 0-)

      president, miles to the right of the last one.

      Do you even have a clue to how the opposition is fighting?

      President have little control over the economy unless it's thru spending .  Bush did by war tax cuts and some foolishness. Reagan did by tax cuts and huge increase in military spending. Star wars was his bright shiny thing, not dead — almost.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:09:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Poor people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling

    believe if you have $100,000 incomes, you are filthy rich.  If you actually are filthy rich, you think someone with $100,000 annual income is a total loser.
    These income brackets are arbitrary, and dependant upon lots of other things.
    If I am retired, my home paid for, and my retirement is $100,000...ya know, I am shitty rich by my community standards.

    Progressives are on the right side of history every time.

    by on the cusp on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 08:28:13 PM PDT

  •  The point being, messaging is muddled. Sorry. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Progressives are on the right side of history every time.

    by on the cusp on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 08:32:07 PM PDT

  •  The important thing is that we (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Williston Barrett

    don't raise corporate taxes or stop maintaining a ceaseless war machine. Because really, isn't that what made this country great?

    Cut Social Security? Well, sure. That's just the sort of tough decision that leaders make. Raise corporate taxes? That's off the table obviously.

    Disgusting

    "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

    by aggressiveprogressive on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 08:36:59 PM PDT

  •  Increases taxes? How? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver

    Your first link is broken, BTW.

    The chained CPI is used because the regular CPI overstates inflation by not taking into account substitutions.

    It does not "increase" taxes, and you never actually say how. You just keep saying it does, but never actually explain it.

    I think this is the scenario you are getting: by indexing the tax brackets to inflation measured by the chained CPI, the brackets will not rise as fast so you will get kicked into the higher brackets more quickly.

    But I don't know because YOU NEVER SAY WHY and your links don't say it either. Why won't you? It seems you are embarrassed by the inanity of the argument.

    If you want the tax brackets to be higher, then push for Congress to make them higher. Don't tilt a metric to try and slide your policy in the backdoor.

    We really should be using the chained-weighting, as we do with the PCE deflator in the GDP number, because it is more accurate.

    It is purely an economic reason in the interest of being more precise. If you want higher brackets or the brackets to rise faster than the cost of living, then push for that. don't use a distorted CPI to do it and pretend it is simply a COLA adjustment.

    I'm not even sure if the Brookings table supports your claim. It is hard to read. It appears that all quintiles have an increase of 0.2% except the top fifth which is 0.1%. That is probably just a rounding issue since the dollar amounts elsewhere in the table show the top fifth paying twice as much more than the second fifth.

    •  Sounds about right....but... (0+ / 0-)

      The "substitution" you are talking about is for young people.

      The elderly (especially the poor elderly) have already substituted as much as they are likely to do.  These are the people who buy generic socks and underwear, not those who buy a bigger/smaller car or TV based on how the cost of living is changing.

      I was not aware that there was any automatic mechanism to change the brackets so I agree that the argument sounds fishy.  

      My teachers (long, long ago) said that the progressive nature of the income tax was a weapon against inflation and would not have understood any of this.

      •  Not automatically indexed (0+ / 0-)

        I really should know this, but I don't thin the income brackets are automatically indexed, but they are set by Congress and that has become the de facto thing. It was the best argument I could guess at since neither of the links nor the poster really provided a reason why moving to chain-weighting increased taxes. It was purely my guess.

        The CPI in general is broken, but that is just because cost of living indexes are very hard. If you've ever seen some of these COLA tables, they are broken down by all sorts of sub categories.

        This is why CPI isn't an inflation metric, but a cost of living index, and one of the reasons it is incredibly useless for monetary policy.  Are you urban or suburban? Do you live on a farm? Are you young or old? etc... Your cost of living is almost as individual as you are.

        My teachers (long, long ago) said that the progressive nature of the income tax was a weapon against inflation and would not have understood any of this.

        Hrm... I don't get their reasoning. "Bracket creep" has always been a problem with progressive taxation. Look at the AMT for the best example. It was originally meant to only apply to a couple hundred people, but since the level it kicks in was never indexed to inflation, politicians began to count on it for additional revenue every year. Now it threatens to capture a huge chunk of the middle class!

        Interesting side note: Carter's out year budget estimates showed huge gains in revenue because of the massive inflation shoving everybody into higher tax brackets. On paper it wasn't a "tax increase" but Carter relied on this de facto tax increase.

      •  there isn't bracket creep, it's (0+ / 0-)

        fake.

        McJoan just found another thing to get people's panties in a twist.

        Last time brackets changed was Bush's tax cut.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:14:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  CPI however does not reflect (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeffersonian Democrat, xynz

      actual expenses for many people.

      For example, while there are some markers for direct health care costs, health insurance is not in the CPI. It is my largest expense after housing (ie, 5 figures for the household) and it has been reliably increasing by 10% annually for the past 8 years.

      It's true that if money is tight, I won't buy that washing machine that the CPI is excited about as a better value than ever.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 11:49:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  why would a change in cola measure (0+ / 0-)

        that isn't happening, going to affect ordinary people?

        Jeeze/

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:17:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Right! Chained CPI is more accurate! (0+ / 0-)

      It takes into account the substitutions and adjustments people make when goods become too expensive to buy. Why do these goods become too expensive? Well, it's certainly not because Chained CPI adjustments to income can't keep up with rising prices!

      While I don't hold Obama in high esteem, that doesn't mean I would say he's the Devil Incarnate and the lessor of evils. He is merely the lessee of evils.

      by xynz on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 02:17:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Difference between COL and inflation (0+ / 0-)

        That is the difference between cost of living indexes and inflation indexes, and the CPI definitely conflates the two even though they are not the same thing.

        Correct, inflation can rise by 5%, but the cost of living might only rise by 3%. Or you can have a 2% deflation (-2% inflation) and a 3% rise in the COL.

    •  good argument but Brackets (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Above59th

      aren't indexed. Period.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:11:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is bound to back fire catastrophically (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xynz

    Don't quite know how yet, but it just seems a sure way the CPI will have less connection to reality. What do they substitute for the deficiency of common sense in the new CPI scheme? More dogged determination?

  •  "We'll Hurt You Less. Vote Democratic." (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson, qofdisks, xynz

    Yes, it has a certain "pump 'em up, and jump to the polls" feel about it, doesn't it?

    Although "Someday There Might Be Jobs" would have a powerful effect as well.


    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 09:55:24 PM PDT

  •  Nice Try Joan. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samddobermann

    But this was debunked already.

    Remember when DKOS was a Democratic site focused on getting Democrats elected?

    by kefauver on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 09:55:58 PM PDT

    •  That horseshit diary? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xynz, brooklynbadboy, pot

      based on "no basic benefit being cut"?

      You elites make me ill, you have no clue what it like to live on a COLA based check and have purchasing power diminish year over year yet you so nonchalantly fuck with people's livelihoods just to protect the persona of your guy in the White House.  Now it will be much worse as my COLA compounding begins now, at 45 not at 65 or 67.

      Yet here you are propagating a "it's not so bad" party line when you damn well know it won't affect you anyways, unless the market crashes your 401ks or suddenly the "troops you support" so much quit keeping oil prices low by no more securing Iraqi oil fields.  Then it's a problem at the pump.

      But hey, no skin off your nose to cut the cost of living for those who lost their legs or their souls over there and come home to no jobs.

      So I'm no longer on anybody's side because no one is on my side

      Vets, like the unborn, are only cared about until they are fucked up, or the baby is born, then it's your on your own, pal, I got fucking mine

      "What's disgusting? Union busting!" 17.02.2011 Madison, WI

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 12:52:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are absurdly angry (0+ / 0-)

        and accusing people of all sorts of things.

        So I'm no longer on anybody's side because no one is on my side

        Wow, that's helpful and you seem determined to make it true.

        None of us wanted you to go to get or save oil.

        You make assumptions about every one. Well you are wrong a lot. but keep hugging your indignation.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:22:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  when people start advocating (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pot

          slicing and dicing my only means of survival and support, then yea, I get absurdly angry.

          You may not have wanted the military to do that, but hey, anyone who drives in the US does enjoy the spoils.

          And like Jim Staro has often pointed out, there is no war tax and 99% of Americans have not felt the sacrifices of the last decade.  Remember, we should all just go shopping.

          Well, now, that disconnect with the American people is manifesting itself in cutting the benefits of those who did serve, the elderly, the disabled and the the most vulnerable among us.  It's happening here on dKos

          So yea, I am absurdly angry

          "What's disgusting? Union busting!" 17.02.2011 Madison, WI

          by Jeffersonian Democrat on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:35:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Can we lobby for the cost of health insurance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    and I mean insurance, not the cost of a doctor's visit - health insurance as sold to individuals that is currently going up at around 10% per year (at least!) in the CPI?

    If they want to go chained, it should include all the things that you pretty much have to buy, and can't substitute.

    Homeowner's and auto insurance too.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 10:37:01 PM PDT

  •  In addition (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks, Jeffersonian Democrat

    I would expect this would be used for the COLA given to schools and for a lot of people's salaries.

    And yet, it doesn't reflect actual cost of living for anyone.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 10:39:40 PM PDT

  •  Hope, change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffersonian Democrat

    It gets harder and harder not to fall into total despair - and I'm one of the luckier ones.

    Even as a kid in the 50's, though, I was always suspicious of the pledge, the flag-waving, the history in which our country had never done any wrong. In Louisiana, I personally witnessed politicians who didn't fill the bill as persons who set good examples (Earl Long with Belle Star).

    Part of what's great about living in the Bavarian Alps now is that I can't quite understand the news. And the air is good to breathe. But most of the people I love still live in the USA and so I hope for change, but I'm not sure I believe.

    Karen in Bischofswiesen

    FDR, JFK and LBJ called; they'd be glad to donate some hearts, guts and spine.

    by Wife of Bath on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 11:01:46 PM PDT

  •  You Professional Leftists don't understand! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brooklynbadboy, pot

    The chained CPI is a Pragmatic TM solution to an artificial crisis that PragmatistsTM  must embrace!

    Just because this crisis has been deliberately created by the Republicans, to attack a Social Security program that is projected to remain solvent until 2036, doesn't mean that the Democratic Leadership shouldn't heartily embrace the artificial crisis and its false solution of cutting Social Security!

    Post Partisan Pragmatism to Get Things Done requires wholehearted participation in this insane bullshit: because every PragmatistTM knows that sane and honest policies can only come through the validation of insane bullshit. This Pragmatic TM strategy would work, if it wasn't for the criticism coming from the Professional Left. Everything that has gone wrong, is because the Professional Left has lost its Faith in Our President: that is why the independent and moderate voters who supported Our President in 2008, didn't bother to vote in 2010.

    If the Professional Left doesn't get its act  together and stop criticizing Our President for embracing PragmaticallyTM  insane bullshit, then the independent and moderate voters who supported Our President in 2008, won't vote for him in 2012. We'll end up with a President Bachmann and it will all be the fault of the Professional Left.

    While I don't hold Obama in high esteem, that doesn't mean I would say he's the Devil Incarnate and the lessor of evils. He is merely the lessee of evils.

    by xynz on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 02:11:25 AM PDT

    •  Well partly their fault. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sewaneepat

      How do you like the great Repub House you got us?

      As long as you focus on the things you don't like and REFUSE to look at the good things you will always be disappointed bitter and angry.

      I've been pretty far left for a long time but I refuse to call myself a progressive because of people like you who hug an imaginary slight from a deliberately out of contest statement.

      You are just as good at it as the ardent tea bags.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:28:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How did "we" get the great Repub house? (0+ / 0-)

        Do you have any facts to back this up? Your claim has been debunked 100s of times on this site. BradyB already debunked that myth here http://www.dailykos.com/...

        And your false equivalency with teabaggers is disgusting.

        ‎'You have to understand Neo, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.' Morpheus - The Matrix

        by pot on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 08:38:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's the substance of it basically. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xynz, pot

      Republicans blame the liberals. Obamaists blame the liberals. Everyone blame the liberals....who keep ending up being correct.

      We saw the same thing in the run up to the Iraq War. The "pragmatists" repeated then the same talking points against the left then that they do now.

  •  Any discussion of a change to a chained CPI COLA (0+ / 0-)

    for Social Security without acknowledging that Simpson Bowles and the Gang of 6 also proposed a minimum benefit is leaving out important information.

    A change to COLA which also provides a decent minimum benefit seems a good trade off to me. If it is not linked to a minimum benefit, that is a horse of a different color.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:54:30 AM PDT

  •  Have you seen the price of friskies lately (0+ / 0-)

    just saying

    Quotable quote here.

    by beckstei on Sat Jul 30, 2011 at 04:55:23 AM PDT

  •  Least Progressive? (0+ / 0-)
    The chained CPI would raise taxes on the middle class at a time when progressivity in the tax code is at its lowest point in decades.

    By what measure is our tax system the least progressive in decades.  Almost half don't pay any income tax and many of those get refundable credits.  The top wage earners are earning a bigger share of the pie, but also paying a much larger share of the pie than 10, 20 or 30 years ago.

    You can say the rich need to pay more, or that high wage earners need to pay more, but you can't say the high wage earners aren't paying more than they have before.  It's just not true.

    http://www.irs.gov/...

  •  CPI-E = anti-Chained CPI (0+ / 0-)

    The CPI-E tracks actual purchases by the elderly!

    implementation of this measure ASAP is necessary to keep more elderly/disabled from going deeper into poverty & as economic stimulus.

    The expenses of the elderly are tracked quite deeply each year since the CMS monitors all Medicare Parts A/B/D purchases, Social Security income above the individual or couple limits at regular income rates each year when recipients file their tax returns.

    Chained CPI is just another GOP robbery like the CORE CPI that currently prevents Social Security recipients from getting any COLA since 2008!  So despite increases in rent, food, utilities, we still get hit with increased deductibles, premiums & co-pays for private insurers under Part D, the Bush subsidy plan.

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