Saturday, March 23, 2013

Another Give-Away

(Editorial cartoon by Joel Pett / Lexington Herald-Leader (March 22, 2013) and featured at McClatchy DC.  Click on image to enlarge -- which you really have to do to appreciate it -- and then please come back.)

Michael Hiltzig has a great post on the lack of integrity (and compassion, and intelligence) of the critters in Washington DC.  His subject is the slipping of the chained cpi method for calculating cost of living raises for those on Social Security.

It's a benefit cut. It's not merely a "technical" change. It's not a "more accurate" measure of inflation.

The "chained CPI" has become one of the linchpins of the debate in Washington over what to do about the cost of Social Security. The idea is to ratchet back the annual cost-of-living adjustment provided to recipients by basing them no longer on the standard consumer price index, but this new creature. Its virtue, supposedly, is that it points to a slower inflation rate than the unchained index, by about .3% a year.

But as I wrote in 2011, it's a stealth benefit cut for seniors. After 10 years, the average Social Security retiree will be getting 3% a year less than under current law; after 20 years it's 6%. The change is presumed to be almost painless--who would notice a lower cost-of-living adjustment that amounts to three-tenths of one percent. So the proposal has garnered the favor of Democrats in Congress and President Obama, who seem to think they can offer it as a concession to Republicans and get something good in exchange, like a tax increase. ...

It's a benefit cut. It's not merely a "technical" change. It's not a "more accurate" measure of inflation.

Let's face it. The "chained CPI" is a benefit cut, dressed up in the faux-finery of economic rigor. Can't Washington be even a teensy bit honest about what it's up to?  [Emphasis added]

Why, no, Michael, Washington can't be "even a teensy bit honest about what it's up to."  If it were, and if the Village bobbleheaded press would actually print the truth about the benefit cut, all hell might break loose.

And as for hope that the GOP as currently constituted will give in on the issue of raising taxes, especially on the wealthy, oh, please!  Paul Ryan and his Tea Party Express is still rolling, Mitch McConnell is still not cooperating.  Why shouldn't they continue to say no.  They've snookered the White House, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi.

Joel Pett's cartoon nailed it quite nicely, don't you think?

The question is, what are we prepared to do about it?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also...what CAN we do about it?


1:08 PM  

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