For so many years now, the well-financed anti-Social Security lobby in Washington has owned the nation’s economic debate. They had a billion dollars invested to persuade Washington to pass benefit cuts for middle-class Americans to reduce deficits that Social Security and Medicare did not create.
The problem with their strategy is the American people never bought it. They didn’t then and they still don’t today. Americans of all ages and political parties simply don’t support cutting Social Security benefits to reduce the deficit. They know there are other ways to be fiscally responsible that don’t target Americans who’ve already suffered the most in this economy. Ultimately Members of Congress urged the President—and he’s agreed -- to take the cost of living formula change called the Chained CPI out of his budget. The truth is, deficits are coming down and we didn’t have to target Social Security to do it.
The National Journal summed it up this way:
“After a three-year obsession with closing America's gaping budget hole, Washington, it seems, has moved on. Last month's budget deal, which put a momentary end to the cliffs and crises that have dominated fiscal policymaking since the tea party came to Congress, coupled with a rapidly shrinking short-term deficit, has driven the nation's budget imbalances quickly and quietly from the agenda.”The Los Angeles Times says “Bye-Bye Chained CPI”
“...the chained CPI has lived on for years in Washington as a potential sop to conservatives in negotiations over a fiscal ‘grand bargain.’ The White House now indicates that it has finally given up hope on reaching that bargain with Republicans. (What took them so long?) So the chained CPI, which was part of President Obama's budget proposal as recently as last year, is out of the budget to be unveiled on March 4.Probably so, but supporters of Social Security are rightfully taking a victory lap now to celebrate the protection of our nation’s most successful program. Next step is to direct the conversation to where it should be...Boost Social Security now.
Social Security advocates are calling that a victory, because it effectively takes the chained CPI out of the mainstream of "entitlement reform." It's a significant victory, but the danger is that it might not be lasting. Recent history shows that the dream of forcing low-income seniors to pay for budget cuts so that wealthy Americans aren't burdened with a tax increase never really dies; it just goes into hibernation.”