A HuffPost/YouGov poll indicates chained CPI, Social Security Tweak In Fiscal Cliff Not Popular With Public, Poll Says, giving a heads-up warning to the blue dog Democrats who are considering agreeing to this to achieve a bipartisan "compromise" to avoid the so called "fiscal cliff."
Many Democrats have indicated having an "open mind," or being "flexible" on the possibility of social spending or entitlement cuts. While letting Medicare negotiate with big pharmaceutical companies, or allowing those below 65 to buy into Medicare for their ACA public option sound promising, the chained CPI and raising the age of Medicare eligibility to 67 should not be considered. This poll is is consistent with many previous polls including a Bloomberg, AARP, Democracy Corps, and Campaign for America's future showing Americans strongly opposed these measures.
The policy would make Social Security's future cost-of-living adjustments less generous and save the government more than $100 billion over 10 years. Fifty-four percent of Americans polled said it would be a bad idea to incorporate the change as part of a budget deal, while just 16 percent called it a good idea. Thirty-four percent said they weren't sure.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) included the chained CPI in his counteroffer to President Barack Obama last week, which also called for broader reform of social insurance programs. In 2011, Boehner and Obama reportedly agreed to a "Grand Bargain" that included the chained CPI, but the deal fell through.
The chained CPI proposal is unpopular across the political spectrum. Fifty-six percent of Republicans, along with 67 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of independents, said they thought the proposal was a bad idea. Older Americans were most likely to oppose the measure, with 77 percent of those age 65 and older saying that the proposal was a bad idea. Adults under 30 were the least likely to have an opinion: 50 percent said they weren't sure whether the proposal was a good or bad idea, while 21 percent said it was a good idea and 29 percent said it was a bad idea.
We need more Democrats to join Howard Dean, Bernie Sanders and others with the courage to defy the lobbies of the military industrial complex and suggest that any reductions to government spending should come from the near doubling of military spending that former President Bush used to destroy the surplus budget of the tax years. The Social Security Trust Fund is solvent through 2034 is played no role in creating the current budget "crisis," despite what we hear every day on the media.
It is time for progressive forces to take a greater stand against the chained CPI, and raising the age of Medicare eligibility. The voters are behind us.