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.
Concerned 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.