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Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:38 AM

Here's why the chained CPI makes no sense.

  1. Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit. (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022028946 and http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022033738)

  2. It's a benefit cut until you reach 85 years old (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022034756)

  3. Since Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit, and if the goal is to strengthen it, why the rush to include it in deficit negotions when all proposals to strengthen it aren't being given full consideration?

  4. Doing this now protects high-income earners, who pay less of their income in payroll taxes. For this to be remotely fair (and it's still indefensible to cut benefits for seniors who are struggling), it should include raising the cap.

  5. Social Security should be discussed separately (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022020805)
The rush to squeeze an unnecessary benefit cut, regardless of the amount, into deficit negotiations is not balanced. It's burdening seniors to protect the wealthy, both in terms of payroll taxes and income taxes, as the proposal raises the threshold for expiring taxes from $250,000 to $400,000.

33 replies, 2333 views

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply Here's why the chained CPI makes no sense. (Original post)
ProSense Dec 2012 OP
djean111 Dec 2012 #1
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #2
pandr32 Dec 2012 #11
adirondacker Dec 2012 #3
rhett o rick Dec 2012 #4
ieoeja Dec 2012 #5
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #16
stupidicus Dec 2012 #8
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #14
bhikkhu Dec 2012 #18
byeya Dec 2012 #20
bhikkhu Dec 2012 #26
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #29
alcibiades_mystery Dec 2012 #22
rhett o rick Dec 2012 #24
SunSeeker Dec 2012 #6
blackspade Dec 2012 #7
rhett o rick Dec 2012 #10
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #30
blackspade Dec 2012 #31
JayhawkSD Dec 2012 #9
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #12
Rocky888 Dec 2012 #13
me b zola Dec 2012 #15
bhikkhu Dec 2012 #17
UnrepentantLiberal Dec 2012 #19
Liberal_Stalwart71 Dec 2012 #21
Harmony Blue Dec 2012 #23
stupidicus Dec 2012 #25
Liberal_Stalwart71 Dec 2012 #27
stupidicus Dec 2012 #28
Liberal_Stalwart71 Dec 2012 #32
Grateful for Hope Dec 2012 #33

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:45 AM

1. In Washington, strengthening SS means "paying less out". Period. No other options.

And if they can privatize it, that would be icing on the cake.
Well, cake for them, past-sell-by-dated crackers for SS beneficiaries.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:01 AM

2. But President Obama says compromise is more important than excellence or decency...

I can't wait to see the compromise they reach on guns. Probably each of us will be required to buy one, to show that we are bipartisan.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:59 AM

11. Too true!

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:16 AM

3. It just makes too much sense for the third way to wrap their complicated heads around. n/t

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:37 AM

4. I agree with your points above but honestly confused.

Last edited Thu Dec 20, 2012, 03:19 PM - Edit history (1)

I have never noticed you disagreeing with a policy of the President. This looks like you are disagreeing with the "leaked" proposal of the President making me wonder what's up. In any case, as I am struggling over this maybe you could give us your opinion on the following article:

http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2012/12/dear-liberals-chained-cpi-is-not-cut-to.html *



Have a good holidays

On edit I removed "Normally you defend Pres Obama to a fault (IMO)." As it comes across more negative than I intend. *Also, for clarification, I am not promoting the opinion of the linked article. Honestly interested in your opinion. Seems too good to be true to me.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:19 AM

5. I normally defend Pres Obama to a fault. And I disagree vehemently with this leaked proposal.


Consider the logic behind Chained CPI. Inflation does not affect the cost of living if you can find cheaper alternatives. Your house too expensive? Find a cheaper apartment.

Steak got too expensive? You don't *have* to eat steak. You can live on hamburger instead. That got too expensive? Consider more pasta. Tomatoes too expensive? Eat more lettuce. And if they can't afford bread ...

Let them eat cake.


We are now debating whether or not "let them eat cake" should be official policy of the United States of America.


Of course, our situation has nothing whatsoever in common with the French situation when they enacted this same policy. The French crisis was brought on largely by the French aristocracy cutting their taxes at the same time they had to pay for two recent wars in America and India.

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Response to ieoeja (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:13 AM

16. Thanks, ieoija. You would think characters like Pete Peterson and Timothy Geithner are well

educated enough to avoid repeating history. But . . . . .

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:27 AM

8. indeed, I'm sure we aren't the only ones that have noticed

that.

such things were heresy before the election, and subjected to more attempted verbal butt-reamings around here than as they use to say, Carter has liver pills

many of us discovered that such concerns/criticisms were tantamount to treason/traitorhood to some

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:10 AM

14. Chained CPI is a cut to Social Security. I trust Senator Sanders more than I trust Obama.

It's as simple as that. I also trust AARP and the Progressive Caucus more than I trust Obama.

Pete Peterson is one of the leaders of the anti-Social Security movement.

Yet Obama chose a protege of Pete Peterson to be his Secretary of the Treasury: Timothy Geithner. That is enough evidence for me to make me very, very suspicious of Obama's motives and goals when it comes to Social Security.

Obama does not see us seniors as being important. He does not view us as his constituency. And he does not treat us particularly well.

Also, because we have not complained much about the recession, a lot of people do not realize that we too have paid a price for the wrongdoing of the banks and the mortgage lenders.

Yet, it is our houses and our investments that lost money or have not earned money. It used to be that seniors could save money during their working years and earn interest on that money in order to supplement their Social Security during their retirement.

In recent years, that supplemental income has not existed. The Fed interest rate is extremely low due to the recession meaning that seniors' money sits in bank accounts earning nothing. So more and more seniors are entirely dependent on Social Security to pay their bills.

It isn't just the jobless whose unemployment benefits are so important to them. Social Security has become more of a lifesaver for more seniors than it was before the Bush recession began in the Fall of 2008.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:16 AM

18. Chained CPI is a small cut to benefits for those above a certain income level

if you look at the way the president's proposal would actually be implemented. Means testing has been advocated here for years as a way to strengthen the program.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:36 AM

20. A lot of people recognize "means testing" as the first step to calling SS a welfare program instead

 

of a contract that workers pay into throughout their worklives.

I think means testing is a killer. "We're all in this together" should be the reality.

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Response to byeya (Reply #20)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:22 PM

26. I agree that "we're all in this together" is better in theory

but if you look at what's on the bargaining table as a whole, strengthening Social Security by going to the functional equivalent of a means test for benefits is small potatoes. You could argue that we shouldn't give an inch, but this isn't even giving an inch.

It would be better to raise the contribution cap, but that would imbalance things in about the same way as a a means test for benefits.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:55 AM

29. People who earn above a certain income level are already required to pay part of their Social

Security in taxes that the people with lower levels of income do not pay. It is in that indirect way already means tested. I think the two tax levels are $40,000 and $80,000.

http://moneyover55.about.com/od/taxtips/a/Social-Security-Taxation-for-Marrieds-Case-Study-3.htm

I can't image who gets $20,000 or $40,000 in Social Security income, but apparently it is possible.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 01:14 PM

22. ProSense and I care about policy

The fact that so many of our interlocutors seem confused that we are also against chained CPI says more about their own "team" mentality than it does about us. I never saw Prosense defend Obama "to a fault." I saw her mount vigorous defenses where they were necessary. I have done the same. I have also been accused of being an "apologist" and similar slanders. When you care about policy and not the person proposing it, you often confuse people who act based on a team, and only that way. It's sad that that's where DU is.

ProSense has always been one of the most consistently engaged and honest people on this board. Others don';t like her because she demolishes their arguments when their arguments are bad. Then they act confused when she calls bad policy bad policy. Here's a hint: she always calls bad policy bad policy, regardless of where it's coming from. Hope that clears up your confusion.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #22)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 03:12 PM

24. I find it a little ironic that you accuse those that might disagree with ProSense and You

of being on a team right after you state, "ProSense and I care about policy." I dont consider you and her a team or on a team and think it silly for you to think I am on a "team".

I never questioned her "engagement" or her "honesty" and never indicated I dont like her as you intimate. I respect her a lot. But in my opinion, her stances on policy have come close to matching those of the president 100%. Please dont show me links, if you say she has disagreed with him, I believe you. It's just that I never remember seeing any.

I wish both of you two a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:20 AM

6. Now I'm depressed...

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:25 AM

7. SS has no business being in the debt negotiations.

If dedt in an issue, then they should discuss it, not SS.

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Response to blackspade (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:50 AM

10. It's a barganing chip. He could offer to give Yellowstone to the Koch Bros.

if the REpublicans would just be nice.

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Response to blackspade (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 02:03 AM

30. Here is why they are going after Social Security and federal employee retirement funds.

Social Security and federal employee retirement funds loaned money to the government.

The government owes Social Security Trust Fund and the federal employee retirement funds but doesn't have the money to pay them back.

The US government has reneged, is defaulting on its debts to seniors -- or at least on a part of those debts. It's a dirty, dirty deal. So that is what Social Secuirty has to do with the debt. The debt is, in part, owed to Social Security. I figured that out this evening.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:49 AM

31. I knew all that and totally agree.

But that doesn't have anything to do with social security other than the rethugs want to cover, with the help of Democrats (why o why?), the private sector hole they have thrown the money into for the last 30+ years.

They could easily cover their asses by raising the income cap, but that would effect the rich who own all of the 'thug party and a lot of the Democratic Party unfortunately. It's much easier to go after the poor, elderly, children, and the working and middle classes who have little or no voice in our government.

It is a damn dirty deal for sure.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:28 AM

9. Well, I agree it is a bad idea

but some of those arguments make little sense either. Numbers 3 & 5 are not really about the chained CPI at all, they're about SS revision in general, and number 4 is about payroll deductions. That doesn't mean that I don't fully agree with numbers 1 and 2.

A better argument against it is that it's on a par with not counting people who quit looking for work as unemployed. If you are living in a cardboard box in an alley and panhandling for food, you are not unemployed.

The chained CPI "takes into account that people buy cheaper items when prices go up." So, under the chained CPI, if you're eating cat food that's not because inflation forced you to it, it's because the nation's standard of living has been reduced.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:01 AM

12. It's primary intention is to channel MORE MONEY into the stock market

so that Wall Street thieves can take MORE MONEY in commissions and earn MORE MONEY in bonuses (that is taxed at some especially low rate) so that we seniors will have even LESS MONEY when we retire but Wall Streeters will have MORE MONEY.

It's a way for Wall Street to make MORE MONEY without having to be at all more creative, more industrious or more useful to the world.

And it hurts everybody else.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:03 AM

13. Exactly!

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:12 AM

15. Thank you for this post

Hopefully our voices will be loud enough to be heard if we speak forcefully and together--HANDS OFF OUR SOCIAL SECURITY

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:13 AM

17. Chained CPI, "with tweaks", becomes essentially a means-test

which is one of the ways that have been debated over the years to strengthen the program.

From what I have read, the implementation of chained CPI (as proposed by the president) preserves current income levels for those below a certain income, basically those for whom Social Security is the only or primary income.

Which makes it a small means-tested adjustment. Personally, if it works that way, I think it is a great idea!

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:32 AM

19. Did you just post an OP trashing Obama?

 

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #19)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:48 AM

21. Unlike the ODSers, ProSense is criticizing what's on the table, NOT Obama!

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 01:50 PM

23. That is how it should be

and that seems reasonable from my view.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 05:38 PM

25. if he put it there perhaps maybe you can explain for the readers

what the distinction is that makes it different.

That's kinda like criticizing the crime but not the criminal that committed it, ain't it?

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Response to stupidicus (Reply #25)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:24 PM

27. I should just allow ProSense to speak for herself, but if I know her well, and I do...

This is a legitimate criticism of the policy proposal, not the president. But again, I'll let her correct me if I'm wrong.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #27)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:44 PM

28. well

the two things are inextricably intertwined I'd think.

While it's possible to hate the sin but love the sinner as JC suggested, that can or does take place because they own the sin, and therefore the criticism due for it, and are loved despite it.

WHy it would be a crime or sin to criticize him when he earns and deserves is beyond me, and I'd bet he'd be the last to think himself above criticism.

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Response to stupidicus (Reply #28)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 07:09 AM

32. Again, ProSense should speak fo herself.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 11:31 AM

33. Criticizing policy is very different from trashing the person

BIG difference.

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