Feb 162013

With the sequester looming, many progressives are concerned that Obama might  make a deal with Republicans that effect benefits people receive from earned entitlements, for which they have paid all their working lives.  The CPC (Congressional Progressive Caucus), joined by several other Democrats, are telling Obama to hold the line.

16ellison_schakowskyConcerned that a potential deal to defuse the looming sequestration cuts will include cuts to social safety-net programs, 107 House Democrats sent a letter to President Obama today calling on him to oppose any entitlement benefit reductions, including switching to the so-called chained CPI. It’s by far the largest number that have come out against the CPI cut, and it represents a majority of the Democratic Caucus in the lower chamber.

Republicans are demanding entitlement reform as part of a deal to avert the sequester, the planned spending cuts that will go into effect next month unless Congress acts. So far, neither Obama nor Senate Democrats have endorsed any cuts to the social safety-net programs, and the White House has specifically ruled out raising the Medicare eligibility age, but liberals fear Democratic leaders will give in on the chained CPI in order to win GOP support.

“I am concerned about it. We’ve got to remain vigilant; that’s why we wrote this letter,” Rep. Keith Ellison, the Chairman of the House Progressive Caucus, told Salon. Rep. Jan Schakowsky spearheaded the letter… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Salon.com>

Chained CPI is a different method of calculating cost of living increases.  It supposes that, if there is a substitute for an item, whose price has increased, and if the substitute costs no more than that item used to cost, there is no increase in the cost of living.  Now lets try that on.  If my filet mignon increases in price, but I can get chuck steak for what I used to pay for filet mignon, my cost of living has not changed.  And if that chuck steak increases in price, but I can get beans for what I used to pay for chuck steak, my cost of living has not changed again.  And if my beans increase in price, but I can get dawg food for what I used to pay for beans, my cost of living still has not changed.  But the transition from filet mignon to dawg food is one hell of a change!  This shows that chained CPI can cause seniors’ standard of living to plummet, while maintaining the cost of living index.  That’s why chained CPI is not acceptable.


  16 Responses to “House Progressives are Spot-on”

  1. Could I substitute cat food? I don't have a dawg!  Too funny, but absolutely right!

    • Sure you can, Lee, but if that cat food increased in price, and you csan get dawg food for what the cat food had cost, your cost of living will not change.

  2. I love Obama, but he is too conciliatory to the GOP's whines.  I hope he does not cave on this matter, which is highly important to millions of Americans.  And we need to remind him that these are not entitlements.  We pay for these benefits with our tax dollars.  That's more than can be said for the truly parasitic one percent, who have rigged the system in order to steal our money.

  3. This shows that chained CPI can cause seniors’ standard of living to plummet, while maintaining the cost of living index.

    I oppose any cuts or deals with Republicans in social programs period… :mrgreen:

  4. Well why don't we all send them a sample of dawg food and then if they are willing to eat it, maybe we will accept their completely mentally challenged cuts in benefits.

  5. I will be absolutely thrilled and astonished if Obama holds the line against the Republicans and the CPI>  Let's put congress on a CPI, or better yet, pay for work accomplished.

  6. I hope Mr Obama does not bring the cheese to the Republican/Teabagger whine and cheese party!  That would be a gross betrayal of the current seniors as well as future ones.  People elected him because they wanted change.  If they wanted to get screwed, they could have saved time and gone with an all Republican/Teabagger government.

    Thanks for the explanation of chained CPI.  I understood it a bit differently, but similar.  And almost as backwards moving!

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