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Tue Dec 18, 2012, 09:51 PM

The Fix Is In...

Though Liberals Carp at Chained CPI, Pelosi Says She Could Live With It
By: David Dayen - FDL
Tuesday December 18, 2012 2:20 pm

<snip>

Others will have to live with it, too.

Many of what would be described as the liberal left of Congress have weighed in against using the chained CPI to calculate cost of living increases in Social Security benefits. Here’s a representative sample from Sen. Jeff Merkley:

We had an election, and the voters sent a message to Congress to focus on jobs and fairness — not cutting benefits for people who have worked all their lives and are now making ends meet on fixed incomes. The formula we use to adjust cost-of-living changes for seniors needs to reflects the real costs they face, not the budgetary fantasies of Washington.


I mean that’s precisely it. You will hear virtually nobody claim that chained CPI represents a more accurate way of determining the cost of living for senior citizens on Social Security, because if they were honest about it, they would tailor an inflation index to the real costs of seniors. The only benefit to chained CPI is that it saves the government money at the expense of senior citizens. That’s it. It’s a back-door way of lowering the benefit. Even if you agree with the methodology of the substitution effect, that people will manage the cost of living by purchasing less expensive products, you have to ask yourself if seniors have been getting away with murder all these years under the old rules. And considering they get an average annual benefit of just $13,000, and that almost half of them use that as their only form of income, without savings or anything else to fall back on, the very idea is preposterous. And the public, who has a working knowledge of Social Security benefits and how far they stretch, agrees.


Regardless of the carping of a few of those liberals and the majority of the country, however, Nancy Pelosi basically gave the game away: she will force her charges to stick with the President.

Despite these changes, Pelosi said she could convince her caucus to get behind such a plan, if need be.

“Do you think you could sell it to your caucus?” MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell asked Pelosi in an interview on Tuesday.

“I do,” replied Pelosi, adding, “Yes, the Democrats will stick with the president — and maybe not every single one of them.”


Pelosi tried to emphasize the unformed idea that there would be “protections” for the most vulnerable. For example, the disabled on Supplemental Security Income might not be subject to chained CPI, and there could be a “bump-up” for people aged 80, to compensate for the cumulative effect of the benefit cut. Again, the vulnerable are a massive part of this population. This is almost the entire income source for almost half of seniors, and for 3/4 of widows or unmarried women. And 15.1% of seniors live in poverty. And if you hold all of them harmless, you erode the actual savings you can derive from this. The three-legged stool of retirement has withered away, especially since the dot-com bust and the Great Recession. This argues strongly for increasing Social Security benefits, not cutting them and not even mitigating cuts.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called this a “technical fix” to better calculate inflation. Bullshit. If this were just a technical fix, you would adjust so that the fix wouldn’t hit beneficiaries in a regressive fashion, with the most pain at the bottom. This plan doesn’t, to any real degree. The goal isn’t to properly measure inflation, it’s to save money for the federal government. It always has been.

The question worth asking, then, is if we want to cut Social Security benefits, why are we talking about chained-CPI, rather than some other approach to cutting benefits that’s perhaps more equitable? The answer is that chained-CPI’s role in correcting inflation measurement error is helpful in distracting people from its role in cutting Social Security benefits. Politicians who are unwilling or unable to offer a persuasive political or policy rationale for cutting Social Security benefits are instead hiding behind a technocratic rationale. We’re not “cutting benefits,” we’re “correcting our inflation measure.”

A similar dynamic is behind the popularity of raising the retirement age, or the Medicare eligibility age: Its advocates can pretend that it’s not a cut, but a technical adjustment made to account for the fact that Americans are living longer. Compared to other approaches to cutting benefits, raising the retirement age is, again, a substantively unwise, regressive approach. But it can be justified as a mere technocratic tweak.


The phrase “banality of evil” comes to mind.

<snip>

More: http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/12/18/though-liberals-carp-at-chained-cpi-pelosi-says-she-could-live-with-it/



62 replies, 3098 views

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Arrow 62 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Fix Is In... (Original post)
WillyT Dec 2012 OP
liberal N proud Dec 2012 #1
villager Dec 2012 #3
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #2
neverforget Dec 2012 #4
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #56
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #5
Skittles Dec 2012 #8
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #9
Skittles Dec 2012 #11
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #13
Skittles Dec 2012 #26
WillyT Dec 2012 #10
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #12
WillyT Dec 2012 #14
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #16
WillyT Dec 2012 #19
Skittles Dec 2012 #28
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #32
femrap Dec 2012 #20
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #23
WillyT Dec 2012 #24
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #25
WillyT Dec 2012 #33
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #36
WillyT Dec 2012 #38
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #39
WillyT Dec 2012 #40
Skittles Dec 2012 #45
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #47
WillyT Dec 2012 #54
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #48
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #52
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #55
femrap Dec 2012 #27
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #30
femrap Dec 2012 #59
DJ13 Dec 2012 #6
morningfog Dec 2012 #7
dflprincess Dec 2012 #15
Generic Other Dec 2012 #18
B Calm Dec 2012 #17
femrap Dec 2012 #21
Jefferson23 Dec 2012 #22
cliffordu Dec 2012 #29
Mel Content Dec 2012 #31
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #49
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #34
Liberalynn Dec 2012 #37
BuelahWitch Dec 2012 #50
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #53
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #51
leftstreet Dec 2012 #58
arjazz Dec 2012 #61
Matariki Dec 2012 #35
bob4460 Dec 2012 #41
Oilwellian Dec 2012 #42
WillyT Dec 2012 #44
Liberalynn Dec 2012 #43
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #46
Hoyt Dec 2012 #57
arjazz Dec 2012 #60
KansDem Dec 2012 #62

Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 09:58 PM

1. There went the last rug from under my retirement

My company announced last month the end of our pension and my job is in question at this point anyway, now I can kiss a livable SS & Medicare benifit. One more thing I have paid into all my life and cannot rely on.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:00 PM

3. And in the end, courtesy of your friends in the Democratic Party!

Alas.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:00 PM

2. Of course she can

She's rich!

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:02 PM

4. What does Third Way Manny think about this?

I think it's BS but I might be persuaded by Third Way Manny

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Response to neverforget (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:28 AM

56. It's time to have an adult conversation about death

Old people will die soon; no sense in prolonging the inevitable.

Freezing and starving are much better ways to die than Liberals would have you believe.

Regards,

Third-Way Manny

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:02 PM

5. So, now instead of looking at having to work another 15 years

 

I am looking at another 30 years minimum.

It would be better for my wife if I were to stop taking my blood pressure medication tonight and start eating a lot of salt in my diet so I could die in the next few weeks. That way she gets my company life insurance, our 401K, AND my SSDI combined with hers. At least she could retire in 15 years.

On edit: Yep, that's the only answer. No more blood pressure meds for me. Time to just snuff it.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:24 PM

8. I think that is the plan, Romney

for retirement to become as extinct as pensions

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Response to Skittles (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:29 PM

9. I ran the math again, it would be twenty years before my wife could retire

 

At least she'd still be in her sixties.



I simply CANNOT face another 30 years of work. I'll be 80.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:30 PM

11. well nothing is in stone

get on that phone and start writing

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Response to Skittles (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:33 PM

13. Did so several times already today.

 

I don;t think it'll work. I've been down this road before on other issues. Never seems to make any difference on our side but let one teabagger get their knickers in a bunch and the GOP locks arms.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:39 PM

26. I hear you, I really do

I have over the past 30 years watched Democrats drifting to the right and it reflects in the state of the country

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:29 PM

10. NO !!! - I Hear What You're Saying, But Please... Take Care of Yourself !!!




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Response to WillyT (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:31 PM

12. I simply cannot face another 30 years of working.

 

Why even bother?

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:33 PM

14. Because You Have People That Love You


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Response to WillyT (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:41 PM

16. I'm looking at the numbers

 

It's become a business decision. Financially, it is what is best for those I love. Otherwise, we'll both be working our lives away. This way, she at least gets to retire.

All I have to do is let nature take its natural course.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:57 PM

19. Ask Her... What SHE Thinks Of Your Proposed Plan...

She deserves AT LEAST That.


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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:40 PM

28. no, RomneyLies

you know that is not what she wants, and it's not what we want - you are a human being - you must to stay and fight; you are not alone - we are here for you

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Response to Skittles (Reply #28)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:47 PM

32. It's not what anybody wants

 

Business decisions rarely are when you look at the human equation.

Sorry if it all sounds callous. I am a consultant and I make recommendations on a daily basis that take nothing but business decisions into account on a daily basis.

This is just another in a long line of business decisions in my life.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:17 PM

20. I understand what

 

you're saying. The least our gov't can do is let us decide if we want help off of this planet. I mean if they don't want to help us live with a bit of dignity in our old age, then let us go. Put us out of our misery.

Hell, we have tons of heroin from Afghanistan....just shot us up and let us go peacefully. Or do we have to drink drain cleaner??? Or buy a gun and blow our brains out?

They all talk about how wonderful life is....give me a break. Taking food and medicine away from the elderly does not make our lives wonderful.

Just kill us so the gov't and the rich can steal all of that money that we put into FICA for our old age.

At least the Eskimos put the old on a floe....

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Response to femrap (Reply #20)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:27 PM

23. There are train tracks a few blocks away.

 

Under a worst case scenario, I can throw myself in front of a train in another year when actual suicide would be covered under my life insurance.

I'd rather just die from the inevitable heart attack or stroke that would come from high blood pressure, though.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:31 PM

24. Dude... Talk To Somebody... Professional...

Take a deep breath, find a support group...

You may think you're doing your loved ones a favor... I bet, with every fiber in my body... they would disagree with you.

Let them continue to love you.


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Response to WillyT (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:35 PM

25. Dude, this is a business decision

 

Nobody is forced to take medications.

If I simply allow nature to take its course, it is better financially than taking those meds and risking being "laid off for reduction in force" due to my age.

I know for a fact that shit is coming. I always thought that with everything else, counting on SS being there at 65 would handle it.

That's gone now.

Now all I have is insuring my wife will be taken care of.

I have no choice but to think in terms of worst case scenarios. If I can hang on for at least five years, things will be much better for my wife. If I get laid off in 18 months, taking the COBRA and keeping in mind that my life insurance is a part of that and it has to pay even in the case of susicide has to be taken into account.

You cannot proceed in any financial decision without also taking into account a worst case scenario. Worst case scenario is I get laid off 18 months from now.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:50 PM

33. I Will End With This... Your Wife Is Your Partner... Are You Going To Let Her Know Of Your Decision

Beforehand.

Or is she gonna be left out of the loop and find out the hard way.



Good luck to you and yours... sincerely.


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Response to WillyT (Reply #33)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:59 PM

36. This business decision is 100% personal, my wife has no part in it.

 

I take my BP meds at night. Today is day 1 of no BP meds.

It won't happen tonight.

It won't happen this weekend.

It probably won't happen for several years,

When it happens, I will seek no help. I will simply let it happen.

From a strictly business standpoint, this is the only decision to be made. Sacrificing future potential in my life insures my wife can retire in comfort. My life insurance is worth almost seven figures.

We have no children.

We have nobody else but ourselves in this.

I would rather this than seeing us both sink into abject poverty. I am a single generation removed from abject poverty. Part of my childhood was spent in the upper levels of poverty. I spent about 18 months of my adulthood homeless. I will not return and I will not subject my wife, who has never lived in poverty, to that indignity.

This is nothing more than yet another business decision made in a life of business decisions.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #36)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:05 AM

38. Business Decisions Generally Suck As Of Late, But...

Peace to you and yours.


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Response to WillyT (Reply #38)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:08 AM

39. Thanks

 

I've had to make decisions that affected the lives of many, and I'm not proud of many of those outcomes. They may have insured more corporate profits, but they definitely hurt some individuals.

Perhaps this is Karma coming back to me to say, "when you said outsourcing these jobs is right from a business standpoint, that is now coming back on you!"

If so, I think I deserve it.

My job has hurt my soul, I think.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:13 AM

40. So... You Could Teach... Ya Know...Spread The Word... You're Just What We Need These Days...


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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:47 AM

45. you feel bad about it

that tells me your soul is still intact - I know of people who think no more about the results of their decisions than swatting away a fly landing on them

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Response to Skittles (Reply #45)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:11 AM

47. I have notes

 

I promise, I will compile those notes into an insider's guide to how to react to outsourcing.

Believe me, the processes require inside cooperation. Those whose jobs are outsourced can do more to insure failure than anybody else. I know precisely what must be done from the inside to insure failure while protecting those few interim months regardless of the business processes being outsourced.

Anybody kept on for an interim process can insure the outsourcing meets with failure, those managers who proporsed the outsource agreement are fired, and processes are once again insourced.


What needs to be done will serve as an appropriate self written obituary.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #47)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:24 AM

54. Channel Your Anger...

I took one of the first 'Death & Dying' classes offered in the U.S.

This was in the early 70's, and the class was over-filled.

There was a guy in that class, a Carney, that was told he would be dead in a few months...

And as he told it... he told the doctor that he would live long enough to "piss on his grave".

And he actually did.

Don't know if it was luck, or good ole stubbornness.

But he told this story 16 years after he was "scheduled" to die.


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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #25)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:16 AM

48. social security will still be there even if the chained cpi goes into effect, so you can postpone

 

that business decision for some years. it will take some years for the effects to be fully felt, and the changes (i read somewhere) wouldn't go into effect until after obama is out of office.

don't let the fuckers get to you.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #48)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:21 AM

52. I'm 50. I've done the math

 

I fall through the holes.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #52)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:27 AM

55. I hope that calculation will be changed soon for you. Wait & see.

 

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:40 PM

27. We all have

 

different ideas on what is the best way.

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Response to femrap (Reply #27)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:41 PM

30. I could never do it with a gun or pills

 

Hopefully, nature will do the deed and the worst case scenario never plays out.

I already have a DNR order in my living will, so a stroke is pretty much sure death.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #30)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:30 AM

59. I wish the law

 

would acknowledge my KMN (Kill Me Now)....maybe someday.

I have the DNR as well.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:19 PM

6. MERRY XMAS FROM YOUR FRIENDS IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!



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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:20 PM

7. So disappointing, and predictable.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:37 PM

15. I don't suppose this will be applied to Congressional salaries and pensions.

I already figured I'd be working until I'm 70 - but now I'm thinking I'll have to keep going until I drop.

Unless, of course, this is just one of those 12 dimensional chess games we used to hear about everytime Obama decided to screw the people who elected him.

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:55 PM

18. They should have their benefits cut as well

Let the damn politicians feel our pain. After all, political office is a service. They volunteered for the job. They have no right to feel entitled to pensions or any other retirement benefits if the rest of us must give up ours. Time for them to give up their perks.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:53 PM

17. I look for the republicans to stick

to their principals and not vote for any tax increases. They'll take the country over the so called fiscal cliff and will be blamed!

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Response to B Calm (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:18 PM

21. Nah....

 

Obama will fold. WASF.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:19 PM

22. Thieves. n/t

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:41 PM

29. I wanna see the final bill

this speculation is just jerkin the gherkin.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:44 PM

31. of course pelosi "can live with it"...she has a GREAT pension plan.

 

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Response to Mel Content (Reply #31)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:20 AM

49. daughter of a congressman, sister of a mayor, connected into democratic politics from birth, she's

 

one of the richest members of congress, net worth about $60 million. and her husband is a financier.

yeah, i'm sure she can 'live with it'. the arrogance of that remark really chaps my ass.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:53 PM

34. Obama rightfully condemned the murders of 20 children in Sandy Hook.

But cutting Social Security and Medicare will mean that elderly people, many in their 80s and 90s live and die in misery. Both acts are heartless and cruel.

The deaths of the 20 children were dramatic.

The slow and painful deaths of all those whose Social Security will be cut and who, in their 80s and 90s, have to choose between food or heat will be invisible but just as horrid.

We can blame the deaths of the 20 children on guns and a crazy person.

What about the deaths of Social Security recipients in say ten or so years? Will we look back and blame President Obama?

Quite possibly in my opinion.

Remember the levees that broke in New Orleans? What heartless president or presidents refused to prioritize repairing those levees?

And now, the levees that protect millions of American seniors from destitution are being breached. For shame.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:01 AM

37. Well said

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:21 AM

50. He often says he how much he loved his grandmother

Would he want something like this to happen to her if she were still alive?

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Response to BuelahWitch (Reply #50)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:24 AM

53. It wouldn't. She was a banker.

I suspect she wasn't living hand-to-mouth on Social Security.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:21 AM

51. +100. you have said it more poetically than my usual "the fuckers are killing people".

 

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:44 AM

58. +1

This would make a great OP

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:33 AM

61. WHERE ARE THE TEARS FOR THE POOR, DISABLED AND ELDERLY?

 

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:55 PM

35. Sure. Congress all gets a pension. So all this talk of "tough choices" is for other people.

Blah.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:22 AM

41. It is Time

to take it to the streets.This CRAP needs to stop!!! This plan is awful ,WE as a people must get the will to stand up and shout!!
The US Government has taken way too much from the common man and let the rich get richer.The gerrymandered repukes are having their way with us.This country has not moved to the right the political parties have,we have to hold our nose when we vote .It is time for it to end!!

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:35 AM

42. Willy, you should see the video clips I've compiled

of Democrats and the entire leadership of the party, supporting entitlement cuts. I'm creating a video that will highlight this fact (and have been slacking on it lately thinking perhaps entitlements are off the table) but now feel an urgency to finish what I started. I think it will be an eye-opener and will hopefully give pause to our critics. The Fix has been in for quite some time and it's about to come to fruition. I'm so sick of these globalist fascists leading both parties today.

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Response to Oilwellian (Reply #42)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:45 AM

44. Thank You For That !!!

Bookmarked !!!


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:41 AM

43. National Women's Law Center has some great memes

for Facebook about Chained CPI and a pettition to sign on their website.

Lets make ourselves heard loud and clear on this.

http://www.nwlc.org/tags/chained-cpi

Start sharing them. CPI was also just trending on Twitter again. People are ticked and rightly so.

Just hope the tide of the ticked is so big, it makes The President, Pelosi and Boner drop this nonsense.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:52 AM

46. Pelosi doesn't *have to* fucking "live with it". who cares what she thinks?

 

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:39 AM

57. Helping to close drug donut hole, more than offsets any "loss" due to C-CPI.

And there are other benefits in apparent "deal" to make me think whole package is not bad, considering where we are right now and how much an improved economy will help everyone over long haul.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:32 AM

60. I knew it!!!!

 

SHAME ON ALL OF THEM

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:09 PM

62. 47% of the members of Congress are millionaries...

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/11/47-of-congress-members-millionaires-a-status-shared-by-only-1-of-americans/

Do you really think they care about the working class? Middle class? Seniors? Poor? Disabled? Students?

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