Friday March 8, 2013, 6:29 am
In negotiations between Obama and Republicans for a grand budget bargain, chained CPI appears to be back on that table. I explained chained CPI last month. In short, it is a method of calculating the increases in Social Security benefits, as well as benefits for disabled veterans and the families of soldiers killed in action, that offsets increases in the cost of living with decreases in the quality of living. Over time, it is a substantial decrease in the benefits you have earned and are earning by paying your premiums throughout your working lives. Chained CPI is NOT an option! Fortunately, Bernie Sanders, and my fellow Oregonian, Peter DeFazio are leading the opposition to it.
Friday March 8, 2013, 7:54 am
TY TomCat. Yes Bernie Sanders is one to get things done when things are so offtrack and just plain WRONG. I agree it is NOT an option after your details in your previous submission.
Friday March 8, 2013, 8:21 am
ďSocial Security is the most successful government program in our nationís history. Through good times and bad, Social Security has paid out every benefit owed to every eligible American,Ē Sanders said. ďThe most effective way to strengthen Social Security for the future is to eliminate the cap on the payroll tax on income above $250,000 so millionaires and billionaires pay the same share as everyone else.Ē
And here I thought being able to send a green star per day would solve my problem. Not. So until I can today, J.L.A. and SuSanne consider yourselves green!
i agree chained CPI is idiocy, but I really like the idea above. There is NO reason to cap income for contributions, none. That we did was a mistake from the beginning. And while we're talking about the beginning, lets not forget that if EVERY congress had not raided SS for their budgets, leaving behind IOU's - which it is now crystal clear they do NOT intend to repay, there'd be no issue, the program would be solvent in perpetuity. Democrats and Republican's alike share this thievery and they should make every effort to repay those IOU's, I don't care how, then give us projections. Until they come clean and undo their thievery this whole "it will run out of funds" argument is specious and blatantly untrue. They MUST admit what they have done to the American people, a vast majority of which does not know apparently the financial chicanery previous Congresses have used to raid the retirement fund for all Americans. And that is just not right.
Friday March 8, 2013, 11:04 am
OMG Gloria! Don't give the Corporatists any ideas!;)
Democrats SHOULD know better - "chained" has a negative connotation..especially when it actually IS negative! I know what's wrong with the RepubliCON Party, but why/how are Democrats getting Infected - sleeping with the Enemy?
Friday March 8, 2013, 11:04 am
Right as usual Gene and kudos to the rest of you too.
Smack me if you want but...
I am really SERIOUSLY beginning to have my doubts about Obama.
This compromise sh*t is turning into just plain regular old stinky DOO DOO !!!!!
Recently my mind began to turn to another "player" (lobbiest) in this "benefits for the elderly" too.
WHERE IS THE AARP ????
When I went hunting, I only found DISTURBING news but since I cannot verify the sources (except maybe Forbes) I am caustious of posting links as it seems the "usual" sites are very SILENT on this matter also. I mean you'd think that the AARP would be ALL over this issue. Ater all this is BIG NEWS right ???
Oh well, sometimes overthinking something does get me into trouble but...
Sometimes no news can be BAD news too.
Friday March 8, 2013, 1:21 pm
I just locally called my (Repug) Rep's office to tell him he must NOT support this and the reasons why. They took my message, name, address etc. Everyone should find out the phone # of their Senators and Reps and keep the numbers handy. If enough people call, it makes a difference.
It's not a popular position to take but I think 15 years ago Obama would have been considered a moderate republican, it seems certain is not a progressive, though he is able to use the words, he doesn't follow up. The republicans are holding Social Security, Medicare, Veteran benefits, pell grants, student loans and substantial infrastructure rebuilding as hostage, I think we all get that. He has too many ways of folding, I'm not sure he really understands or believes in the necessity of these vital programs. That said, I hope I'm wrong.
Friday March 8, 2013, 5:46 pm
noted and just like the most of you that have posted i agree, but if anyone can get this back on the right track yes it would be berine sanders he's been for the working middle class folks and our senior's he is a fighting man and stands his ground the republicans just make me sick they are totally against the working class and everything that we stand for, but if one of there own needs anything there's no questions asked just totally wrong in my eyes if we do not stick together and stand our ground we stand too lose much more.
Friday March 8, 2013, 7:41 pm
Thanks Tom for the post. The GOP continues it "war on everybody" . That I expect but to have some Democrats even considering chained CPI really burns my butt. Read and noted.
Friday March 8, 2013, 10:13 pm
I hope that Obama doesn't capitulate on this. Chained CPI is not a good negotiating tactic. Obama needs to stand firm on this and not throw down the gauntlet on this! If he starts giving in to the Republicans on this, they're going to expect more and more concessions from the middle class, the poor, and elderly! Concessions need to be made by the Republicans. They can raise the taxes on the top 2 percent of the richest, and they can also close some of the tax loopholes and the can eliminate the carried interest on capital gains on private equity firms so that these people like Romney have to start paying taxes now on all that interest that they have earned on investments instead of deferring it all of the time! These people are the ones that can afford to make some concessions since the onus of taxes has been put on the middle class and working poor all these years! It's high time for a balanced approach!
Friday March 8, 2013, 11:17 pm
Obama made a promise not to cut Social Security and Medicare, I hope Bernie Sanders can make him keep his promise. People on Social Security are having a hard time already trying to pay for medications and food, they can't afford these cuts.
Saturday March 9, 2013, 12:46 am
Chained CPI is not a negotiation tool to use with the Republican/Teabaggers, it is a SELL OUT to the Greedy Old Pharts!
Even their Saint Ronnie Ray Gun stated that SS had nothing to do with the deficit, that it was completely funded by contributions. This is just another way, in essence, to tax the middle income and lower income earners, the disabled, the veterans etc. to shift the burden, to try to get blood rom a stone.
Saturday March 9, 2013, 3:34 am
I have to agree with you both, Kit and Beverly. If he capitulates and gives in on chained CPI and cuts to Medicare/Medicaid. He will be cutting the throats of everfyone who voted for him who is a Progressive or Democrats. He talks a good game but he is having trouble walking the walk.
But then again......his main hero is Abraham Lincoln...and what was Abe? A Republican. He has also stated that he admired The Rethuglican Demigod, Saint Ronnie. When I heard that come out of his mouth a few months back.....that's when I started feeling betrayed. And irregardless of what our resident trolls think.....Obama never was, never has been nor ever will be, a Socialist. Ever. They have their 'isms' confused.
It's all beginning to make me physically ill.....literally.
Saturday March 9, 2013, 5:55 am
It's becoming pretty obvious, he's a Republican in Democrat clothing. And where ARE the Democrats, why aren't they standing up for the people they represent? Only Bernie......
Saturday March 9, 2013, 5:59 am
First they decimate the retirement savings of seniors by artificially keeping the interest rates at near zero. Now, they cave to chained CPI which will further hurt those on Social Security as well as militray retirees. How about the Pres, cabinet, white house staff and all of congress take a pay cut instead. This cave was also predicted before the election along with his support for XL.
Saturday March 9, 2013, 2:02 pm
Beverly T. has made a valid, if terrifying, observation - the silence of the AARP echoes the silence of the lambs, so to speak.
If they aren't with the people, with basic justice, with appropriate, indexed coverage for those who have paid into such programs, they are, effectively, against them...
More generally, though, I'd suggest, to anyone who hasn't yet seen this, their having a peek at an article which rather made my guts drop to about knee-level - unless this is another of Obama's strategies...
This is why Obama canít make a deal with Republicans
Posted by Ezra Klein on March 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm
... So letís back up. Murphyís initial view was that to unlock GOP votes for a budget deal, Obama just needed to endorse chained CPI and more means-testing in Medicare. Then it was pointed out that Obama has endorsed means-testing in Medicare, so Murphy wondered why he didnít endorse chained CPI as part of a deal. Then it was pointed out that Obama did endorse chained CPI, at which point Murphy called chained CPI ďa gimmick,Ē and said Obama had to endorse raising the Medicare age, drop his demands for more revenue as part of a deal and earn back the GOPís trust.
Recall what Chait said would happen if the Republican legislator in my column was forced to react to the fact that Obama has endorsed chained CPI: ďHe would come up with something Ė the cuts arenít real, or the taxes are awful, or they canít trust Obama to carry them out, or something.Ē Check, check, and check.
Which is all to say that thereís no deal here. A few tweets later, Murphy gave his bottom-line view, which is that if Obama wants a deal, he needs to drop all of his demands and just agree to what the GOP wants to do: ...
... The bottom line on American budgetary politics right now is that Republicans wonít agree to further tax increases and so thereís no deal to be had. This is not a controversial perspective in D.C.: Itís what Hill Republicans have told me, itís what the White House has told me, it what Hill Democrats have told me. The various camps disagree on whether Republicans are right to refuse a deal that includes further tax increases, but they all agree that thatís the key fact holding up a compromise to replace the sequester.
But itís unpopular for Republicans to simply say they wonít agree to any compromise and thereís no deal to be had ó particularly since taxing the wealthy is more popular than cutting entitlements, and so their position is less popular than Obamaís. Thatís made it important for Republicans to prove that itís the president who is somehow holding up a deal.
This had led to a lot of Republicans fanning out to explain what the president should be offering if he was serious about making a deal. Then, when it turns out that the president did offer those items, thereís more furious hand-waving about how no, actually, this is what the president needs to offer to make a deal. Then, when it turns out heís offered most of that, too, the hand-waving stops and the truth comes out: Republicans wonít make a deal that includes further taxes, they just want to get the White House to implement their agenda in return for nothing. Luckily for them, most of the time, the conversation doesnít get that far, and the initial comments that the president needs to ďget seriousĒ on entitlements is met with sage nods.
I donít mean to pick on Murphy, who, as I said, is an important guide to contemporary Republican politics and a force for good in his party. But his series of missives on the subject today offered an unusually clear view of where the GOP actually is in the budget debate, and why there was really no alternative to the sequester. Thereís no deal even if Obama agrees to major Republican demands on entitlements. Thereís no deal because Republicans donít want to make a deal that includes taxes, no matter what they get in return for it.
The interesting question is whether the possibility of a government shutdown, a debt-ceiling breach or simply the pressure of the sequesterís cuts will, in the coming months, break one side or the other. But as long as the GOPís position is they wonít compromise, thereís not going to be a compromise.
Sunday March 10, 2013, 12:57 am
I keep thinking of this notion of decreasing the quality of goods one buys, to spend less, and offset the decrease in cost of living allowance. Is that really what they are suggesting? That's a load of crap, because we're already doing that, anyway. Prices are soaring, and the puny increases in SSI and SS do not offset this hardly at all. I think all this fiscal cliff and sequester fiscal crisis talk has had a stupifying effect on the general population. They may have hit an overload.
Sunday March 10, 2013, 4:59 am
Thanks to everyone for so many great replies. A couple things...
AARP has come out against chained CPI. I don't respect them and actually topre up my membership card years ago and mailed them the pieces, but they got this one right.
Obama is and always has been a centrist. I said so well before we elected him the first time. We have an unfortunate tendency to paint him with who we want him to be. The best thing we can do is hold his feet to the fire and remember that on his worst day he is far better then Little Lord Willard would be on his best day.
Nobody has actually caved yet. I suspect that he intends to demand substantial concessions from the Republicans ion return, and knows he won't get them. Then he will have painted himself as the conciliatory one and them as the obstructionists.