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View Diary: US already has high elder poverty rate, so why are Social Security cuts even on the table? (223 comments)

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  •  Here's my thought on Chained CPI (0+ / 0-)

    Okay, maybe I'm being an apologist for Obama, but here's what I think he's thinking. The Chained CPI is not good, but one characteristic of the Chained CPI is that it doesn't actually change much in the next year or two. It only starts taking effect gradually and over the long term. Well, look, a lot may change between now and then.

    Remember the old joke?

    A man had offended the king, and was sentenced to death. He fell to his knees before the king and implored, "Oh your majesty! Spare me but for one year, and I will teach your horse to talk!" The king was amazed, and granted his wish.

    The man's close friend and brother upbraided him, saying, "Why did you make such an absurd promise?"

    The man shrugged and replied, "In a year, the king may die. In a year, I may die. In a year, the horse may talk!"

    As I see it, the Chained CPI is something that makes it look like we've made cuts in entitlements, without actually making any significant cuts, at least in the short term. And in the long term, other things may happen to fix the situation. We might get a Democratic congress for example, or be able to make other policy changes that would neutralize the concession.

    I think it's  a kind of trick concession. But of course Obama can't explain that, because then the Republicans would catch on. I think he's trying a buy time.

    •  Do you understand compound interest? (10+ / 0-)

      Now imagine it in reverse, with losses instead of gains compounding and accelerating year after year.

      •  and even with compounding interest (0+ / 0-)

        we're not talking about significant dollar amounts.  krugman pegs it at 3% over 10 years.

        http://strengthensocialsecurity.org/...

        even that group, who is adamantly opposed to CCPI, says the difference would be $500 after 10 years.  $500 spread out over 10 years; that's $50/year, tops, if one averages it out.  

        i'm sorry, but nobody but the poorest of the poor is going to notice a difference of $50/year, and EVERY mention of CCPI i've seen from obama/dems/anyone saying it isn't concentrated evil specifies needing some mechanism to protect the elderly poor.

        yes, it compounds; that's entirely the point -- that it not hit people immediately, but gradually, where there will be fewer survivors affected by the long-term compounding effects.  the median age at death for women, who live longer, is 80. the max impact most seniors would see is 4.5% over 15 years.

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:13:33 AM PST

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        •  Neo-libs strike again (5+ / 0-)
          where there will be fewer survivors affected by the long-term compounding effects.  the median age at death for women, who live longer, is 80. the max impact most seniors would see is 4.5% over 15 years.
          and what should my life expectancy be in my mid-40s?

          How about the 18-year-old vet?

          38 U.S.C. 1104 - COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENTS, Sub-chapter 1, Sec. 1104 - Cost-of-living adjustments
          (a) In the computation of cost-of-living adjustments for fiscal years 1998 through 2013 in the rates of, and dollar limitations applicable to, compensation payable under this chapter, such adjustments shall be made by a uniform percentage that is no more than the percentage equal to the social security increase for that fiscal year, with all increased monthly rates and limitations (other than increased rates or limitations equal to a whole dollar amount) rounded down to the next lower whole dollar amount.
          Quit spreading misinformation about who this affects as it obviously doesn't affect you or your shared sacrifice, does it?

          Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

          by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:20:56 AM PST

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          •  what are you talking about who this affects? (0+ / 0-)

            are you referring to SSDI?  everything i've seen about CCPI specifies leaving that program alone.

            what did i say that was misinformation?  is the median age at death for women not 80?  do women not live longer?

            Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

            by Cedwyn on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:39:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No you are implying (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              midwesterner, Laconic Lib, Mr Robert

              as you well know, that this cut will not be a big deal because it affects people who will die in a few years anyway.

              But you leave out people who rely on CPI who are not elderly, as you often do in this argument.

              You cite news reports or other "everything" you've seen.  However, it really comes down to fed law, and what the law says.  The law is that SSDI and VA are governed my Soc Sec COLA increases.

              Until the U.S.C. states disabled are spared, I'll keep screaming.  In fact I'll keep screaming even if it does because that is what good Democrats share, solidarity

              Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

              by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:49:38 AM PST

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              •  we're talking about hypotheticals, no? (0+ / 0-)

                so what should i cite besides news stories?  everything i've read says they would leave SSI/SSDI alone.

                but one can discuss social security itself without the statements applying to SSI/SSDI.

                However, it really comes down to fed law, and what the law says.
                yup.  so if CCPI is enacted and the law states that SSI/SSDI are exempt?

                Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                by Cedwyn on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:55:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  then I'll keep screaming (7+ / 0-)

                  because if I were a "I-got-mine-jack-screw-you" type, I'd be a Republican.

                  There is a long trending history of this sort with veteran benefits as people who tried to cut benefits pitted one generation of vets against another, as we saw with the new GI Bill.  Now they employ the same strategy against Social Security

                  But since Social Security is a signature Democratic program and since solidarity is a signature Democratic principle - I'll keep screaming

                  Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

                  by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 06:05:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  VA has been expanded lots recently (0+ / 0-)

                    it's immune from the sequester.  anyhoo, if i meant SSI/SSDI, i'd say SSI/SSDI.  if i say SS, i mean SS and only SS.  

                    and i have always qualified that any switch to CCPI would have to afford protection to those who need it.  i have also advocated expanding SSI/SSDI eligibility.  i don't think those programs should be touched otherwise, and i don't think they should switch the tax code to CCPI.  the programs don't use the same metric now; i don't see why they have to.

                    feel silly for assuming things about me yet?  

                    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                    by Cedwyn on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 06:12:07 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  again, VA has a long history (4+ / 0-)

                      at first it was Korean vs. WWII vets with cuts
                      Then Korean & WWII were pitted against Vietnam vets

                      And you are right, VA has been expanded a lot recently with most of the programs only affecting OIF/OEF veterans since 2001, essentially creating a two-tier vet system.

                      And no, you can't speak about CCPI and only speak about Soc Sec and not SSDI, Railroad Pensions, military retirement, VA benefits because all of them are governed by the same United States Code .  There is no separation.

                      Hopefully, we're talking about hypotheticals that will never come to fruition because enough people raise a stink, but don't expect programs under the radar to be spared when no one speaks up for them.  Most people do not know that CPI governs VA, most people think we are speaking about something that affects the elderly and who cares about them.  Part of that is from information like you put out in diary after diary.

                      And because you put these neo-liberal OFA points out in diary after diary I certainly do not feel silly

                      Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

                      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 06:45:33 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  again, though (0+ / 0-)

                        it all depends on how the law is written, hey?

                        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                        by Cedwyn on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 06:58:25 AM PST

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                        •  What's your cite? (4+ / 0-)

                          What's the quibble over how a law is written when you're pushing cuts to programs for poor elderly and disabled people, including veterans?

                          What's the point in showing excessive cruelty by taking money from poor people when there's no need to do so?

                          What kind of depravity of the soul does it take to push for unnecessary cuts to those less fortunate simply to please some mentally diseased wealthy corporate donors?

                          Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

                          by Betty Pinson on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:39:57 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

        •  Give it up, dude (0+ / 0-)

          You're about as likely to have a rational discussion of the CCPI on this site as you are to have a rational discussion of gun control on the NRA site.

    •  Except (10+ / 0-)

      there's only a set amount of time here, period, for the purpose of this "deal".

      The chained CPI is a bad idea--numerous economists have broken it down. There is no sleight-of-hand there. There's nothing that "looks like something else". It's a cut in benefits.

      It is time to #Occupy Media.

      by lunachickie on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:19:56 PM PST

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    •  Chained CPI is a solution looking for a problem (17+ / 0-)

      There's no need for that kind of cruelty.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:46:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have noticed that once something's gone. It's (11+ / 0-)

      gone. And based on that, I doubt very much the gov't will stop using the chained CPI to calculate COLAs. When Reagan and Greenspan and Democrats doubled FICA taxes to cover baby boomer retirements so baby boomers would pay for both their parents and themselves, Social Security gradually accrued a huge surplus. That surplus of $2.7 trillion was used to pay for unfunded wars and unnecessary tax cuts. Now they're talking about cutting Social Security because they want to keep more of the the FICA taxes in the general fund to make up for the lack of revenue caused by tax cuts for the rich. It's such a cruel, unnecessary and duplicitous betrayal that I won't lie down for it. It's theft of my money, our money. And they hate paying interest on the $2.7 trillion!

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

      by slouching on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 11:07:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah why aren't we repealing the Reagan deal? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laconic Lib, midwesterner, Mr Robert

        This excuse that Democrats are going to come back later and fix the dirty deal they make has already been disproved.  

        They cut our benefits once already and now they are back for more.  Why should any of us believe this will be the last cut if we let them get away with it?  

        We have to make it so painful for them to try cut Medicare or Social Security that they don't dare to do it again.

    •  It isn't 11 D chess. It's a cut to benefits. (9+ / 0-)

      Period. Full stop. There's no Strategy Fairy sprinkling Magic Dust everywhere to fuddle the Republicans. Obama is willing to, and has even offered to, cut SS benefits in exchange for getting a "grand bargain." That's all there is to it.

    •  Know what I got this year? (8+ / 0-)

      16,668k on my SSA-1099

      And you want to cut that?  Giving me the ole reach-around by promising me we will change it back to the original promise the country made to us in the future?  In this political climate?  By law my veteran benefits, and I am 100% permanent and total disabled combat vet, are tied to Soc Sec CPI.

      I gave my health for the country and you want to cut my veterans benefits?  My SSDI that I paid into?  Maybe that is not significant to you, but what was your shared sacrifice?

      I lose 9% purchasing power over 30 years, and I am in my mid 40s.  Let's see, what's 9% of 16,668... meh, probably isn't significant, eh?

      Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 05:13:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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