OK

Is it just me? Do you ever find yourself wondering how we can finance wars everlasting on the credit card, we can allow the financial industry to rebuild their reserves by lending them money at 0% and allowing them to lend it back to us at 3%, we can willingly pay more than the rest of the world for healthcare and life savings drugs, but we just can't allow Granny that little bit of extra money to have a spare can of cat food in reserve in the cupboard?

When faced with the the perplexing dilemma of who must pay for the financial quagmires we have entangled ourselves in, the politicians, the media, the beneficiaries of said quagmires, and the rest of the 1% all know that the answer is blindingly obvious -

"THEM! The little people! Those 99% who are too stupid to be born into our ranks or who lack the drive that we have to claw our way to the top on their drained carcasses. They live to support us."

Don't you wish they would just say it out loud so that we can stop with the stupid and condescending blather about "tough choices" and "shared sacrifices"?

I for one am sick of it.

Changing COLA in SS to chained CPI is estimated to bring in 112 billion over 10 years according to the Washington Post in Three cuts to Social Security that are way, way, more progressivethan chained CPI

The fiscal cliff deal is finally taking shape, and from the looks of it, it’s likely to include the adoption of “chained CPI” as the government’s preferred measure of inflation. As I explained last week, that measure mainly matters for taxes — where the income cutoffs for various brackets are indexed for inflation — and Social Security, in which benefits are raised annually to keep pace with inflation. Adopting chained CPI would, in effect, cut Social Security benefits and raise taxes.

That’s a big slice off Social Security — $112 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office — and the first such cut in a while. Of more concern is how the change would affect taxpayers: It’s regressive. The tax cut hits the working poor much harder than millionaires:

Now if you read the actual article the author gives 3 other possibilities and I am not for the first 2 he mentions - Change the Preliminary Insurance Amount (PIA) formula  and Adopt progressive price indexing (PPI) which are basically setting up a two-tier system of benefits where the wealthy receive less and their benefits are calculated differently. I see plans like this as stigmatizing Social Secuirty and turning it into welfare for lower wage workers instead of the social safety net insurance that applies to everyone that it was designed as originally. So, I don't agree with the title of the Wahington Post's artlicle.

But the third option of raising the cap to apply to ALL wages would:

So some have proposed setting the cap on wages subject to the tax so that it always grabs 90 percent of American worker’s wages. According to the CBO, that raises almost $500 billion over 10  years, all from rich households earning over $100,000 a year. That’s about five times what chained CPI brings in, and, again, it’s much more progressive. Eliminating the cap altogether would make Social Security solvent in perpetuity.
I don't know about you, but I can bend my head a lot more easily around that than cutting the way cost of living increases are calculated that will actually TAKE money out of the pockets of the poorest among us.

Another simple easy solution that is ridiculously obvious to anyone with a single brain cell is to NEGOTIATE DRUG PRICES IN MEDICARE something the President promised to do in his first election and which the White House traded away in negotiations to get Pharma behind the ACA initially.

Here's pretty decent article about the history and the pitfalls which I tumbled across while writing this diary: Using Medicare's Clout to Negotiate Drug Prices - Did Obama Put That Back On The Table

It's from April of 2011 but I think it's just as relevant today as the day it was written. One interesting thing in that article is a link to FACT SHEET: The President's Framework for Shared Prosperity and Shared Fiscal Responsibility, also from April of 2011 which contains this nugget:

Reduce Medicare’s excessive spending on prescription drugs and lower drug premiums for beneficiaries without shifting costs to seniors or privatizing Medicare. Combined Medicare savings of at least $200 billion over 10 years.
So, I would prefer to see either and preferabley both of these suggestions implemented which combined would bring in 700 billion over 10 years and placing that burden on the backs of the wealthiest Americans and the Pharmeceutical industry who can both well afford it. This is 600 billion more than the chained CPI suggestion and places the burden on the most robust backs in our society as oppsed to the frailest.

What exactly is wrong with a President and 2 political parties who collude to pick the pockets of the poorest while simulataneoulsy protecting and lining the pockets of the wealthiest? What exactly is wrong with a citizenry that rolls over and accepts this kind o morally bankrupt and ethically challenged reasoning as the best they can get from their elected leaders?

Originally posted to Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:57 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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