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View Diary: Chained CPI, Social Insurance and Two Kinds of Politics (66 comments)

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  •  I'm on Social Security (4+ / 0-)
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    pundit, lenzy1000, AgavePup, irmaly

    Medicare, Medicaid, Maine Care, Snap, HEAP, LI HEAP, and receiving help from the VA, various foundations and grants.

    With all of that assistance I can't afford to drive my wife to her daily radiation treatments which are a little over eighty miles round trip unless a social worker gives me a gas card.

    Despite my poverty my Social Security doesn't really depend on jobs or the economy, it depends on what we do about overpopulation, pollution, war and climate change. To some extent that depends on getting the Republicans and the lobbyists who fund them out of the Congress of the United States.

    I'd expect the discussion to be about ending the global war on terror and its nation building, and returning to the war on poverty increasing safety nets to include the minimum wage, unemployment insurance, access to free education for retraining, ARRA funding for alternative energy, and infrastructure repair which will rebuild our nation.

    Where I live you need a vehicle with four wheel drive to make it over, around and through the potholes, power goes out every time it rains, and most schools are being closed rather than repaired. We could use all the money we spend on being number one and shipping jobs overseas to mercenaries and the drones they operate, to invest in useful things here.

    All that said I think Obama has been a very skilled negotiator in dealing with Republican obstruction. Their essential position is that if he is for it they are against it.

    He is trying in his second term to get a series of gun control, immigration, marriage equality, woman's rights, voter rights, and key appointments passed and confirmed.

    Obama wants to bring the troops home, deal with climate change, strengthen safety nets rather than abandon them. I'm good with all of that conceptually but making it happen requires arm twisting in the eleventh dimension that even Lydon Johnson could never have accomplished.

    Johnson's sanctions were all coercive, whereas Obama's are all Seductive. Republicans push and Obama pulls them into a corner they didn't realize they were going to be visiting.

    Every one of Obama's legislative ideas is filibustered, blocked, amended, shot full of poison pills, tied to something else we don't want and then delayed so as to reduce the time there is to address the next thing on the list. None of his appointments are ever confirmed.

    How then is it that in 2014 the affordable care act will provide affordable care to 50 million more Americans and the infrastructure, medical equipment and staff to serve all those people is being furnished and installed now under the ARRA.

    With all the best efforts of Bernie Sanders to put us on the right track if it weren't for Obama doing everything wrong we would still be trying to get single payer universal comprehensive instead of mandates for which the US federal government is the single payer if the states don't sign on.

    Obama has somehow allowed Vice President Biden to have slipped into the conversation stuff like the repeal of DADT, DOMA, marriage equality, gun control, equal pay for women, a raise in the minimum wage, comfortable shoes for standing with unions and a mention or two of climate change. Its not entirely foolish to recognize that if we can't get revenues from tax increases to balance budgets now  we have little hope of ever mediating climate change.

    While all that has been going on in some obscure corner of the eleventh dimension he has further allowed himself to be manipulated by the left and the right at the same time to make cuts to the military while leading from behind to take out Osama Bin Ladin, make human rights a condition of our foreign aid, stall the Keystone pipeline, and win another term of thwarting Citizens United funding for obstruction with effective community organizing .

    The debate over entitlements has been expanded to put defense spending, tax breaks, and subsidies on the chopping block next to social security, medicare and medicaid.

    Despite Social Security Insurance being funded by payroll taxes which have already been paid as agreed by us old folks it has been included because its trust fund has been raided to keep other spending from raising the deficit and now paying it back seems onerous.

    Where I see Obama going with chained CPI is a full frontal assault on the cost of living increase threshold  for tax breaks and subsidies for millionaires and billionaires.

    That's the first third of chained CPI but its also a foot in the door of cutting tax breaks for the wealthy, energy companies, big agra-business, subsidies for medicare equipment and pharmeceutical manufacturers. Grover Nordquist opposes it as a tax increase.

    The middle third of chained CPI is focused on raising benefits for the poor by raising the minimum wage which means poor people will get more social security when they retire, raising the cap so revenues from the kind of compensation bankers, energy company executives and wall street executives will add to the trust fund, and then growing the economy so that even a reduced cost of living increase in benefits will increase benefits substantially.

    The last third of chained CPI budget savings comes from paying less interest on less debt.

    My Social Security is more not less secure as a result of the actions of this president.

    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

    by rktect on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 04:04:15 AM PDT

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    •  One cavil- the only "cuts to the military" are to (4+ / 0-)

      "personnel" stuff like pay and health care and of course veterans' "benefits." As I understand it, "TEH BUDGET" restores all the sequester-driven cuts to the War Toy Industry and the Pentag___ procurements that drain our national wealth into it.

      And anyway, the "cuts" to the MIC money are only a "cut" to the RATE OF GROWTH of the War Toy and World Domination "budget."

      Bless you and your family and your perceptions, may we all figure out that we ordinary people need to actually "assemble" and organize and effectively "petition for redress of grievances" if these greedheads and life-suckers are to be reined in. With the clear understanding that those sorts of folks are also born every day and as they grow up they will also need to be reined in by each succeeding generation.

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 04:57:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Keep believing that until your checks stop coming (6+ / 0-)

      I see him as a Trojan Horse.
      He's proposing what no republican could ever propose.

      I belong to the Honey Badger Wing of the Democratic Party. We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. Have you seen our videos?

      by Cassandra77 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 06:36:08 AM PDT

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      •  Its true he is proposing what no Republican could (0+ / 0-)

        Personally I don't see anything the Republicans have ever proposed, or are proposing or ever will propose as a good thing so I'm happy to see Obama taking a different course.

        I'm not a believer, but I do have expectations that what I have seen in the past and what is going on now is likely to continue for some time into the future.

        When I look at Obama in turn of my expectations for him I see three possibilities.

        First there are the DRONES. This category includes the Obama administrations continuation of all the good works of the Bush administration to include, the Patriot Act, GITMO, FISA, the use of mercenaries and other countries to facilitate our kidnapping, torture and murder to include the indefinite detention of American citizens and their assassination, and oh yeah the deportations of immigrants and the arrests of pot smokers.

        Second there are THE POOL HALL HUSTLEs. This category includes everything Obama has gotten passed from Lily Leadbetter, START, ARRA, the affordable care act to taking out Osama Bin Ladin, leading from behind in Libya, and aiding and abetting Elizabeth Warren, not to mention all the places where he caved to Republicans and then it turned out that no wait, he got a much better deal than we thought.

        Finally there is CHRISTMAS FUTURE. this category includes things yet to be such as Affordable Care, Marriage Equality, DADT, DOMA, Immigration reform, gun control, delaying the Keystone pipeline, and chained CPI (the Trojan Horse) all the things which having begun to make some of the smarter Republicans abandon their lost cause and come over into the light once were.

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 10:12:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the thing, though: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yoduuuh do or do not

      If your Social Security had started in 1999 at $1200 per month and continued until now (Feb 2013) using today's CPI for SS, you'd be receiving around $1670 per month, roughly.

      If all that time you were receiving Chained CPI as the basis of your annual adjustments, you would now be receiving $1596.  

      That's a $74 dollar difference a month, this year. And a bigger gap next year and the next.

      And is SS really keeping pace with the cost of living?  We had a couple years when "CPI" said there was no inflation, but the food started coming in smaller packages and prices were going up. Somehow, even today's CPI missing what people really need to live every day.

      Wouldn't your life be harder today on $74/month less?
      A lot harder?  
      How many cuts can you take?

      And why should you, living on the edge, be taking these kinds of cuts while the wealthiest in the nation pile up even more of the national riches in land, stocks, bonds, buildings, bank accounts....

      This budget cuts benefits for the poorest while allowing the income inequality to continue to grow.  How is that just?

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 01:43:35 PM PDT

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      •  The $74 difference isn't the problem (0+ / 0-)

        Because of the Great Recession many people were forced onto social security at age 62 and receive it at a reduced rate. Out of that they pay for Medicare.

        I have been receiving Social Security for six years and I get less now than I did when I started because of that deduction. Medicare costs a lot, Everybody gets part A but parts B, C and D cost you more. Not only that but there is a donut hole in what you pay for medications under part D.

        If I were receiving $1670 a month that would be nice.

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 03:29:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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