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News reports are out that Obama has decided to drop the Chained CPI for Social Security from his 2015 budget, but it still sounds like Social Security cuts are on the table.

More details below.

Yes, Obama has caved to "liberal pressure" by dropping Chained CPI, well sort of.  He's also ready to put it back on the table.

According to WH spokesman Josh Earnest per the link above:

Earnest said Obama's budget is to be unveiled early next month. He said Obama would consider putting chained CPI back on the table if Republicans include tax revenue as part of a debt-cutting compromise.

"The president is not going to be in a position where he is going to ask senior citizens and middle-class families to make sacrifices in pursuit of reducing the deficit and not ask the wealthy, well-connected to make sacrifices, too," Earnest said.

emphasis mine

First, its been proven countless times that Social Security does not contribute to the federal deficit. Period.  The fact that Obama keeps repeating this misinformation is disturbing and dishonest.  It's also reason to conclude we should view his proposal forMYRA's with suspicion as a possible move towards privatization of Social Security.

But once again, we hear Obama telegraphing the message that Social Security contributes to the deficit and if the GOP agrees to tax reform for the wealthy, he will gladly cut it.  

So, yes, the Grand Bargain strategy is still alive and well. Chained CPI isn't exactly in the 2015 budget, but the cuts are still on the table.

Update: For those ardent defenders of Obama's Chained CPI program and it's "bump up" feature for seniors,  following is a link to the National Women's Law Center analysis of the problems with the bump-up:

Typical Single Elderly Woman’s Social Security Benefit Won’t Fully Recover from Chained CPI – Unless She Lives to 104

The typical single elderly woman Social Security recipient now earns $1,100 per month in benefits. The amount of Chained CPI cuts to these benefits far outweigh the amount they would receive in ten years through the "bump up program".  After 10 years of retirement,at age 84, her monthly check would be restored to $1,094. After another ten years of "bump up", her monthly SS check would finally be back to $1,100 - when she's 104.

Keep in mind, the Chained CPI cuts are compounded monthly and grow larger with each passing year. While the typical elderly, single woman on SS might see her payments restored to $1,100 per month when she's 104, it won't compensate for all of the cuts in her Social Security  benefits she's experienced until then.

Originally posted to Betty Pinson on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 12:30 PM PST.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders.

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