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Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:51 AM

"Chained CPI" Americans (across the board) GET IT:




"In order to strike a budget deal, would you accept Changing the way Social Security benefits are calculated so that benefits increase at a slower rate than they do now or is this something you would find unacceptable?"

The December Washington Post/ABC poll :


60% of all adults oppose (60% to 34%)
57% of registered voters oppose (57% to 36%)
68% of Democratic voters oppose (68% to 26%)
54% of Republican voters oppose (54% to 40%)
56% of Independents oppose (56% to 36%)
65% of liberals oppose (65% to 29%)
57% of moderates oppose (57% to 38%
58% of conservatives oppose (58% to 33%)



It would appear that Americans across the board can see with their own eyes the reality that returning Congressman Alan Grayson pointed out in his recent DU post: that the current CPI calculation methodology ALREADY UNDERSTATES inflation.

It would appear Americans are unwilling to be fooled again by those who believe they can dress up the slashing of earned benefits as "technical" accounting adjustments.

That scam has been long ago exposed: A few years after the Boskin Commission slashed SS benefits by rigging CPI to understate inflation, Greg Mankiw, chairman of George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2001-2003, seeing no reason at the time to continue the charade, publicly admitted the truth everyone already knew: “The debate about the CPI was really a political debate about how, and by how much, to cut real entitlements.”

On the issue cutting Social Security by means of again cooking the CPI calculation books, Americans across the board are in agreement, with the House Progressive Caucus, with the AFL-CIO, the AARP , MoveOn.org, Disabled American Veterans.





This appears to be a defining moment.

The Republican strategy is clear: Demand that DEMOCRATS initiates, pass, and OWN the issue of slashing Social Security. Regardless of how much Republican leaders may want to cut Social Security, through chained CPI or otherwise, they are unwilling to be the party to propose and own the issue. Their recent plan avoided "chained CPI" like the plague. The Republican strateg is to manipulate Democrats into betraying their base.




Will a disgraced & defeated Republican Party now succeed in manipulating Democrats to do such a thing?


Will we learn from the past?


In 1997, as the Boskin Commission's fraudulent rigging of CPI was on the verge of implementation, The Atlantic published an eerily prescient "How to Re-Write Economic History" which illustrates the profound attraction that cooking the books has for politicians:



“Given the questionable intellectual foundations of the Boskin Commission's findings, the commission's high standing in Washington requires explanation. Both Democrats and Republicans have been keen to see its recommendations adopted, because they provide a potentially uncontroversial way to achieve deficit reduction. Raising taxes is unpopular, and little discretionary government spending is left to be cut. Restating the CPI as a measure of cost-of-living inflation offers an easy way to lower Social Security payments through reduced COLAs and raise tax revenues through reduced exemptions. The hope is that the CPI can be presented as an apolitical and boring technical issue that voters won't notice.

“Revising the CPI would get the Republicans off the hook of deficit reduction, while simultaneously advancing the interests of business. This, however, would occur at the expense of working Americans and the elderly. Revising the CPI would get the Democrats off the same hook, but at the cost of another shameful desertion of the constituencies they claim to represent.


- - - - - - - - - - - - http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/97apr/econhist.htm
















41 replies, 3680 views

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Arrow 41 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Chained CPI" Americans (across the board) GET IT: (Original post)
Faryn Balyncd Dec 2012 OP
Cleita Dec 2012 #1
onecent Dec 2012 #17
KansDem Dec 2012 #2
Recursion Dec 2012 #22
JayhawkSD Dec 2012 #40
Jackpine Radical Dec 2012 #3
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #32
Jackpine Radical Dec 2012 #34
Evergreen Emerald Dec 2012 #4
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #5
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #6
byeya Dec 2012 #8
byeya Dec 2012 #7
abelenkpe Dec 2012 #10
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #36
daleanime Dec 2012 #14
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #25
byeya Dec 2012 #31
NorthCarolina Dec 2012 #9
Skidmore Dec 2012 #11
NorthCarolina Dec 2012 #13
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #15
NorthCarolina Dec 2012 #20
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #37
merrily Dec 2012 #16
xtraxritical Dec 2012 #26
grahamhgreen Dec 2012 #30
Faryn Balyncd Dec 2012 #33
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #12
merrily Dec 2012 #18
NorthCarolina Dec 2012 #19
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #23
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #27
xchrom Dec 2012 #21
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #24
midnight Dec 2012 #28
grahamhgreen Dec 2012 #29
NorthCarolina Dec 2012 #35
grahamhgreen Dec 2012 #38
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #39
WillyT Dec 2012 #41

Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:59 AM

1. Thanks. I'm disturbed though that even as many as more than a third of Americans approve.

It should be 90% or more disapprove IMHO.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:46 AM

17. Amen Cleita, people just don't plan about their future, it seems.

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:00 AM

2. More conservatives oppose chained-CPI than moderates?!!

Albeit, by a very slim margin:

57% of moderates oppose (57% to 38%)
58% of conservatives oppose (58% to 33%)

But still, very revealing...

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Response to KansDem (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:32 AM

22. Moderates like "process"

If you look like you're doing something, moderates often like it.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:55 AM

40. One percent is a rounding error in the calculation.

One percent is about calculations when presenting to results, and means nothing.
Look at the other side of that same presentation: conservatives approving is 33% while moderates approving is 38%. Now that is truely strange.

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:01 AM

3. Ainnit amazing that the majority of Americans side

with this little splinter party, the Progressives?

Ainnit just amazing that the majority of the people are represented by small minorities in Congress and not at all in the White House?

Altogether, it just goes to show ya how fucked the system truly is, and how far from a (small-d) democratic vision we have wandered.

Gubmint is owned lock, stock & barrel (if ya don't mind an old gun phrase) by the 1%, and nothing can make it clearer than this.

The single upside I take from this picture is that in fact the majority of the public hasn't fallen for the propaganda, even though they have been deprived of the institutional means of expressing their political will.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:05 PM

32. I think the fact that Americans are not being fooled, as was intended btw, by

the Chained CPI, 'a sneaky way to cut benefits', is because of all the Progressive Organizations along with AARP which has a huge membership, taking the trouble to make sure people understand what it means.

Four years ago we were all willing to wait when we saw things that made us uneasy, but not any more. The coalition of organizations that formed before the election, stated that while they would vote for Dems, they no longer trust either party to look out for the interests of the American people, especially the most vulnerable of them.

I know I receive tons of emails each day from all these organizations which I signed up for since the coalition formed and they are doing a tremendous job of educating the people.

We have more means today of getting the word out than when we had to depend on the MSM. The Social Media has also been doing a great job of spreading the information to millions of people.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:43 PM

34. We're humming the same tune. Information has escaped

from the tight control that the governing elites once maintained over it. That's one reason I'm not quite as concerned as I might be over the increasing consolidation of ownership that is currently taking place. They're consolidating a dinosaur.

The social media age is in its infancy, but it can no longer be stopped short of shutting down the world's Internet system, and by now they can't do that without wrecking their own systems. In a short 20 years, we have all become transformed by this new thing. The new information revolution will be as profound in its effects as the Gutenberg revolution, which brought us the modern world.

Always in the past we have had one-to-many communications. The people in power had the megaphones/papers/broadcast stations, and we had two options: Attend to the messages or don't attend to them. This is a few-to-many system.

The social media are bringing us into the many-to-many era of communication. You might write something, I might write something, anybody might write something (or post a video or whatever) that suddenly goes viral. Each of us now has the potential to transmit our own thoughts and knowledge to the rest of the world. This is very different from anything that has gone before.

We have laid the groundwork for humankind to become a leaderless organization.

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:04 AM

4. They are pissing on our legs and telling us it is raining

And by "they" I mean the republicans, Obama, and Pelosi.

I am livid about this lie we are told.

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:06 AM

5. Oh, I feel sure that Americans will GET IT

In fact I'm confident they will get it GOOD AND HARD.



Hat tip to HL Mencken

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:10 AM

6. Still think we live in a democracy?

In offering these cuts, the president is ignoring 68% of Dems and 60% of the electorate.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:15 AM

8. That's the plan: You got to vote(maybe) and now get out of our way, 98% scummies.

 

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:13 AM

7. We've already endured one reworking of the CPI to our detriment and it's clear that

 

the majority of people are not in the mood for another.

The Democrats picked up a couple of Senate seats; polled more than the republicans in House races by approx. 2 Million; and won the Presidency.

And this is the argument we're having and the legislation we're facing?

We should be talking about Medicare for All and how to achieve it quickly; cutting the military establishment in half and firing all the mercenaries and consultants; saving he planet from climate change; raising the minimum wage; approving EFCA and modernizing labor law with jail terms for bosses interfering with organizing, etc.

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Response to byeya (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:21 AM

10. +1000

What kills me are the democrats on this board arguing that a deal including chained CPI is no big deal.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:08 PM

36. Yes, that is the most amazing thing. To see Democrats, although I know they

are a small minority, here on DU attempting to excuse this by pushing the fantasy that this is some kind of chess game.

Each time SS is mentioned in the same discussion as the Deficit, it pushes the narrative that there is some truth to that. Any Democrat worth the title would make sure that no hint of that lie gets into the public dialogue. Instead we have Pelosi claiming that the Chained CPI will 'strengthen SS'. Either she has been completely deluded herself, or she thinks we are stupid.

No wonder she won't answer her phone.

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Response to byeya (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:32 AM

14. Hell yes...

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Response to byeya (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:49 AM

25. With you, byeya. Thanks.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #25)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:55 PM

31. Thank you!

 

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:20 AM

9. Unfortunately, the people are powerless to prevent it from happening.

Conservative Dems (of which there are far too many) and their GOP counterparts will have their way on this issue no doubt and, after many decades of wistful thinking, finally succeed in seriously wounding a social program they despise. Gutting Social Security and Medicare are the golden ticket that "fiscal cliff" talks were designed for.

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:23 AM

11. Learned helplessness on the part of Dems does not help. Get on the

goddamned phone to your rep, regardless of party, and give them a piece of your mind on this issue. I just find handwringing and assumption-making when there is still time to act to be counterproductive.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:31 AM

13. Well actually,

I have called. I have also signed at least half a dozen or more petitions sponsored by MoveOn, Creedo, FDL, Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, Dennis Kucinich. It will amount to nothing in the end. It isn't "learned helplessness", it's simply "facing reality". The reality IS that we have two political parties that lie strategically well right of center, and the remnants of the old pre-DLC Democratic Party are too few to prevent changes that the right wants. Ask yourself, why didn't Obama talk about his desire for chained CPI during the primaries? Oh, many of us knew it, and even talked about it only to be quickly shut down and ridiculed for having such thoughts by DU's resident third-way mafia. We're fucked. You know it, and I know it.

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:43 AM

15. You do not believe your own cynicism, if you did you'd not have called and signed at all.

Your words say you have no hope, but words are often used to hide facts. Your actions say you think don't believe your own predictions. And they are predictions. Folks who tell me 'I see the future, and I take many actions I think are meaningless' strike me as being at odds with their own minds.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:56 AM

20. Where there is no hope,

there is no life. But I can also see the reality of the situation at hand. There is nothing magical or prescient in observing reality as it unfolds.

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:14 PM

37. Well, one thing that might change the picture you see, the threat which will be

carried out I believe, of publicly exposing all Dem Senators who either remain silent at this critical time, or who like Pelosi, try to sell the lie that the Chained CPI will strengthen SS. We are all much more informed now than we ever were, and a threat from the coalition of Progressive Organizations together with all the other huge organizations such as the Unions and AARP to primary any Dem Senator who does not come out now and oppose this disastrous policy, rather than as they have done in the past, follow the Dem Leadership and support their choice, might just move a few of them to do what is right.

This is going to be a fight, something in the past they really haven't had. There is a change in the political atmosphere now and there are more of us than there are of them. United the people have a lot of power. Up to now, we have not been this united.

Paul Ryan said in 2005 to Bush when advising him to use his political capital to privatize SS, that 'SS is no longer the Third Rail of politics'. And we all know what happened when Bush believed that. He was sent home by the American people with his tail between his legs.

I am very hopeful that our Reps will get the message that we are not as stupid as they thought.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:44 AM

16. Get on the phone. As I did at least twice weekly to urge the public option?

They have no reason to listen to the 98%.

None.

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Response to merrily (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:57 AM

26. "Contact" the Whitehouse.

 

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:49 PM

30. Call the White House 202-456-1111

Yes, he can be pushed

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #30)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:11 PM

33. Yes...and call Leader Pelosi's office at (202) 225-4965

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:26 AM

12. CPI has always been rigged

Many of the items in the so-called "market basket" are staples that are basically price-controlled by the subsidies we give farmers.

The government cannot admit the real cost of inflation because that would sent the Federal budget into chaos -- in 2 ways:

1) much of our government expenditures are pegged to this fake CPI

2) if the real inflation rate were publicized, that would drive interest rates up and interest is a huge part of our budget.

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:47 AM

18. Both Republicans and Third Way Democrats want this and that is by far

more than a majority of Congress.

Where were we when the Third Way was taking over our Party?

Where are we now?

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Response to merrily (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 10:52 AM

19. What is at work, is a way to make it "ambiguous" to the public

as to which party bears responsibility. When that piece drops into place, the lever will be pulled.

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Response to merrily (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:37 AM

23. Only Elected Republicans - 54% of Republicans Voters Against

Per the OP. Amazing, isn't it?

And the Third Way... unspeakable. They're crawling DU claiming it's necessary/inevitable/all the fault of Progressives and so forth.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:19 PM

27. What have you doen with 3rd Way Manny??!?!?

He is a lot less grouchy than you. He takes his medicine with a smile. He loves the warm "trickle down" by the 1% and their government henchmen. He is a pragmatic realist, unlike you, the professional leftist.

We need our own "safe haven" forum where 3rd way dems can be given the boot.

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:18 AM

21. Du rec. Nt

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:47 AM

24. Well said.

Another plan to hurt working people and their families. It's downright shameful.

Impose a tiny tax on the fast Wall Street trades, and if the trading leaves our shores, so be it. Fast trading is a scam. We can clean up the stock and commodities market and come closer to balancing our budget at the same time. Without fast trading, ordinary people might be more willing to invest in America.

Tax Wall Street, not Main Street.

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:34 PM

28. k&R

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:45 PM

29. Call the White House 202-456-1111 !!!!!

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:54 PM

35. I understand the desire to be heard

but I have to wonder...Are Obama and Pelosi so completely unaware of the polling figures on chained CPI, or raising eligibility age, etc. that they must be phoned to inform them of how the public feels about these issues? Or, are they fully aware of what the public polling results are and yet, quite simply, just don't care?

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:45 PM

38. From an inside source: they are fully aware, they don't care, they are elitists, but they can be

swayed with enough pressure.

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 04:41 PM

39. It's unacceptable to me.

I'm planning to live into my 90s and my husband isn't. I don't get survivor benefits from his pension since we weren't married when he retired, so I'm going to need every penny I can get my hands on.

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Response to Faryn Balyncd (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:59 AM

41. K & R !!!


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