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Wed Dec 19, 2012, 07:55 PM

Is this a joke: 20 years? [View all]

Robert Greenstein

The Chained CPI: A Response to Robert Kuttner

The President’s decision to include, in his latest “fiscal cliff” offer to House Speaker John Boehner, a proposal to use the “chained Consumer Price Index” in calculating both annual cost-of-living adjustments in Social Security and other benefits and annual inflation adjustments to various features of the tax code (such as the incomes at which tax brackets begin and end) is eliciting dismay among many progressives.

At CBPP, we have long been open to such a change if, and only if, the tax savings are devoted entirely to deficit reduction (not to financing other tax cuts) and the benefit change includes protections for poor and very old beneficiaries. The details on the Administration’s proposal are not yet available and, until they are, we’re withholding judgment on it.

<...>

But, the average cut isn’t 3 percent per year. It’s three-tenths of 1 percentage point per year (0.3 percent), according to the Social Security actuaries, or one-tenth what Kuttner assumed. And according to the Congressional Budget Office, the average reduction would be a bit smaller than that — 0.25 percent per year.

To be sure, the benefit loss would cumulate over time; after 20 years, it would represent a benefit cut of about 5 to 6 percent. But, the proposal also appears to include a benefit increase after about 20 years that’s equal to 5 percent of the average Social Security benefit, returning the benefit level at that point to close what it would be under current law. (It would begin to slowly erode again after that.)

In short, this proposal would affect beneficiaries. But the benefit reduction is much smaller than Kuttner portrays it.

- more -

http://www.offthechartsblog.org/the-chained-cpi-a-response-to-robert-kuttner/

Let's look at the facts and do the math.

Fact: It's a benefits cut.

For the first 20 years, seniors lose about 5 percent to 6 percent of their benefits.

After 20 years, they get an increase equal to about 5 percent of the average Social Security benefit.

Claim: "the benefit reduction is much smaller" than being portrayed.

OK, Greenstein is making the case that the cuts are offset by the increase.

Great. You retire a 65. You get less benefits until you're 85. At that point, you get an increase.

People are living longer, right?

Is this a joke? Twenty fucking years?

You suffer benefits cuts for most of your retirement, including the healthiest years, and are supposed to be thrilled that you get an increase at 85 (if you live that long)?

WTF? WTF?

At the WH press briefing, Jay Carney insisted: "The President didn’t put it (Social Security) on the table. This is something that Republicans want."

President Obama and Nancy Pelosi seem to not understand that we don't give a shit about what Republicans want.

If, as Carney stated, this was brought to the table by Republicans, why are Obama and Pelosi trying to sell this crap in the face of strong opposition. No one wants this. No one.

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ProSense Dec 2012 OP
99Forever Dec 2012 #1
RKP5637 Dec 2012 #2
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mother earth Dec 2012 #5
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freshwest Dec 2012 #14
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99Forever Dec 2012 #57
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