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From the evil Murdoch-owned MarketWatch:

President Barack Obama's next budget will drop a past offer to accept lower cost-of-living increases in Social Security through the so-called chained consumer price index. The proposal was included in last year's budget. Explaining the decision to drop the idea, a White House official said that over the course of the past year, Republicans refused to identify one tax loophole they'd be willing to close in exchange for putting the cost-of-living adjustment on the table. Obama's next budget is due March 4.
Too bad the White House didn't say they dropped it because they've come to realize that the chained-CPI punishes people in a downward spiral kinda way for having to scale down their standard of living.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:26:51 AM PST

  •  Hallelujah! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rubyr, doroma

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:29:15 AM PST

    •  Obama was asked about this during the shutdown. (0+ / 0-)

      He said it was a bargaining chip for tax cuts and that Boehner reneged. He stated then it was off the table. People kept freaking out over last year's  budget as it appeared on the White House website. This is craziness.

      This is a release about this years budget. All the hysterics and rumor mongering were unnecessary. The president has said numerous times that the republicans backed out and the deal was doa.

  •  Good decision, even if a lousy rationale. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rubyr, lunachickie

    A slim bright spot in a rash of really bad Obama Administration moves these days (failing to rein in the NSA; pushing Keystone XL; pushing TPP; encouraging the provatization of public shools; missteps with respect to Syria; etc.)

    "Life is the crummiest book I ever read - there isn't a hook, just a lot of cheap shots, pictures to shock, and characters an amateur would never dream up." - Bad Religion

    by TheOrchid on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:32:02 AM PST

    •  Yup (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, corvo, accumbens

      although according to the other diary which just posted on this:

      the White House is leaving Social Security benefits cuts out of its formal budget this year, though would still offer up those cuts "in the event of new budget talks."
      So...this is just for the midterms, IMO. Keep that in mind when you listen to Democrats on the stump this season.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:01:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the White House's framing is better... (4+ / 0-)

    IMO, there's no upside to your suggested message, accubems.

    The offer has been dropped, so there's no need to go out of their way and say "We proposed something that would've hurt people" when instead they just can reinforce the "Republicans refuse to compromise" message.

  •  Excellent news!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gchaucer2, doroma
    Too bad the White House didn't say they dropped it because they've come to realize that the chained-CPI punishes people in a downward spiral kinda way for having to scale down their standard of living.
    White House knows the House of Teas will never again agree to a tax increase. So President Obama can maintain his "I am adult in the room" to the village media. If President Obama now says chained CPI is not a good idea, the village media will make sure that itself becomes the story.

    This White House reason keeps the focus on the GOP. And they will never agree to a tax increase.

    •  See my comment to Trix above. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brown Thrasher

      My guess is they never considered it a bad idea.  What they say is what you get.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:37:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you believe that Social Security can continue (0+ / 0-)

        just the way it is today for another 25-30 years then you have another thing coming.

        Progressives need to acknowledge that the program cannot continue like this given the boomer retirement wave about to hit.

        •  Social Security is in pretty good shape (4+ / 0-)

          There IS a short-fall, but it's not a long-term structural problem. Small fixes to the funding of social security will be enough to get us through the end of the baby-boomer generation. After which, the current funding formula is perfectly sustainable. Remember the social security trust fund is meant to be running a deficit during the boomer retirement period - that's why it was built up in the first place.

          It's Medicare which has a much more shaky because of the high rates of medical care cost in this country.

          Ironically, both the (large) Medicare funding problem and (small) Social Security are due to a couple of the same problems: really expensive medical care in this country and increased income inequality.

          Really expensive medical care (e.g., health insurance) is one of the reasons for the stagnating wages for 95% of Americans (more tax-free money spent on health care by employers = less money given in taxable wages). Increased income inequality and the cap on payroll taxes, means that fewer people are paying paying their full income on social security than was projected when the formula was set. Some studies show that rising income inequality and stagnating wages account for 50% of Social Security's shortfall.

  •  Chained CPI and the Democrats (9+ / 0-)

    Your point is spot-on. Obama still thinks it's a good idea, but he can't get cover for it.

    Moreover, I laughed when I saw that Pelosi said that Democrats cheered this decision. Pelosi said back in December 2012 that she wholeheartedly supported chained CPI because it would "strengthen" Social Security. Why is she cheering the exclusion of something she thought would improve the program?

  •  Medicare cuts are still in (5+ / 0-)

    The White House still intends to increase means-testing of Medicare:

    The officials said the White House will retain other spending reductions in benefit programs that it has proposed in the past, including a requirement that wealthier Medicare recipients pay more.
    Means-testing Medicare won't save you much money, and it destroys the universality of the program--a key part of its popularity. No real upside to it.

    http://hosted.ap.org/...

    •  Whew! And here I thought there was at least an (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, corvo

      unreasonable expectation to hope.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:41:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are right that it destroys (0+ / 0-)

      the universality of the program. But having richer Americans pay a little bit more in Medicare premiums compared to poorer Americans, is not the worst thing in the world. It's actually pretty "progressive" in some ways. Better than cutting with Medicare coverage or raising regressing payroll taxes on working-class Americans.

      It's already implemented in Medicare Part B and the income measures are really quite high for retired persons. The increased premiums start at 170,000 MAGI (for married couples). I mean that's really quite high on the income scale - these people can likely afford to pay a few hundred dollars more a year.

      •  It's not progressive (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sulthernao, corvo

        6 Reasons Joseph Stiglitz and Other Top Economists Think Means-Testing Medicare & Social Security Is a Destructive Idea: http://www.alternet.org/...

        You'll only save money if you set the threshold very low, and you'll keep pushing it lower. If you have the threshold set high, why even bother? You'd get more money anyway by taxing them rather than asking for out-of-pocket expenses.

        •  Yeah, I agree with that. (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think it will really save much money, or it is something that I necessarily support. I just said it's not the worst thing in the world. My real point is that if I had choose between equivalent spending reductions/revenue increases such as reducing Medicare benefits, increasing the payroll tax rate (which acts in a regressive manner), and having wealthier beneficiaries pay more, I would choose the latter. It is definitely not my ideal way of going about it.

          I personally I agree with you that we should just increase the taxes (on richer Americans) instead of making people pay out-of-pocket, as well. It's just more efficient. I strongly support that ACA provision for the Medicare surcharge tax on investment income above 250,000. My personal view is that this is one of the best ways to get more funding for Medicare.

          But if Republicans refuse to allow for a tax increase on the wealthy, then this may be a way to be a pseudo-tax. That's all.

    •  A letter from AARP (1+ / 0-)

      also said that Obama was proposing some kind of co-pay that would increase the out of pocket costs for people on regular old Medicare.

      My invisible imaginary friend is the "true" creator

      by Mr Robert on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:51:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dropped from the proposed budget, yes (3+ / 0-)

    but not off the table:

    From The Hill

    The president’s budget request for fiscal 2015, which is due out March 4, will not call for a switch to a new formula that would limit cost-of-living increases in the entitlement program, the White House said Thursday.

    Obama last year proposed the new formula for calculating benefits as an overture to Republicans.

    The White House said that the offer to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) "remains on the table for whenever the Republicans decide they want to engage in a serious discussion," but that the concession would not be included in the new budget request.

    Some body needs to hammer home to these people from both parties that SOCIAL SECURITY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DEBT OR DEFICIT.

    Obama needs to take it off the table, period.


    "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
    TheStarsHollowGazette.com

    by TheMomCat on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:17:08 AM PST

    •  The problem is real whether you want to (0+ / 0-)

      believe it or not.

      Social Security and Medicare are both unsustainable on their current path.

      If by chance the other side gets full power in DC, they will deal with it on their terms.

      President Obama is just trying to deal with this on his own terms because he believe he can stave off the larger problem down the road with as less suffering as possible.

      That is all he is trying to do. I believe President Obama cares about the little guy and a struggling senior citizen far, far more than any Republican president ever will.

      •  "That is all he is trying to do." (0+ / 0-)

        Then perhaps he should try to do more?

        Except that "more" might mean "more austerity proposals for the 99%" . . .

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 12:11:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I was just about to post that! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, corvo

      Thanks for calling attention to that. We still need to be on guard.

  •  NOW can we tell Green Party's Jill Stein to STFU? (0+ / 0-)

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