HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Is this a joke: 20 years?
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

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 -


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)?


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.

65 replies, 5721 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 65 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is this a joke: 20 years? [View all]
ProSense Dec 2012 OP
99Forever Dec 2012 #1
RKP5637 Dec 2012 #2
monmouth3 Dec 2012 #3
Tom Rinaldo Dec 2012 #4
mother earth Dec 2012 #5
Hydra Dec 2012 #13
mother earth Dec 2012 #17
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #43
Curmudgeoness Dec 2012 #27
mother earth Dec 2012 #62
bobhuntsman Dec 2012 #32
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #6
jsr Dec 2012 #10
freshwest Dec 2012 #14
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #49
freshwest Dec 2012 #52
99Forever Dec 2012 #57
villager Dec 2012 #22
a2liberal Dec 2012 #30
druidity33 Dec 2012 #63
jsr Dec 2012 #7
pscot Dec 2012 #8
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #9
doc03 Dec 2012 #11
Lone_Star_Dem Dec 2012 #12
me b zola Dec 2012 #24
Lone_Star_Dem Dec 2012 #42
me b zola Dec 2012 #58
Blanks Dec 2012 #15
ProSense Dec 2012 #18
Blanks Dec 2012 #28
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #50
Blanks Dec 2012 #60
PA Democrat Dec 2012 #19
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #20
Auntie Bush Dec 2012 #16
Autumn Dec 2012 #21
Uncle Joe Dec 2012 #51
hifiguy Dec 2012 #23
AzDar Dec 2012 #25
Ineeda Dec 2012 #26
ProSense Dec 2012 #34
Ineeda Dec 2012 #36
rurallib Dec 2012 #29
Bohunk68 Dec 2012 #31
Blanks Dec 2012 #33
bobhuntsman Dec 2012 #35
hay rick Dec 2012 #37
In Truth We Trust Dec 2012 #38
tiredtoo Dec 2012 #39
Hissyspit Dec 2012 #40
MotherPetrie Dec 2012 #41
renie408 Dec 2012 #44
rosesaylavee Dec 2012 #45
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #46
defacto7 Dec 2012 #47
NashvilleLefty Dec 2012 #48
michigandem58 Dec 2012 #53
Romulox Dec 2012 #54
WilliamPitt Dec 2012 #55
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #56
whatchamacallit Dec 2012 #59
Melinda Dec 2012 #61
truebluegreen Dec 2012 #64
idwiyo Dec 2012 #65