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Mon Dec 17, 2012, 10:00 PM

Obama Counter-Offers on Fiscal Cliff (updated with stats on a chained COLA)


This appears to be the story Ed Schultz just reported.

Here are a couple of paragraphs:

"WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has proposed a deficit-reduction package to House Speaker John Boehner that would increase the top tax rates on taxpayers earning more than $400,000, cut more spending from health care programs and add $200 billion more in spending cuts over 10 years to his earlier offer.


"People familiar with the plan said Obama is proposing lower cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security. He also abandoned his request to extend a payroll tax cut — a move that would result in a tax increase for many Americans."

I hope to expand this thread shortly regarding the chained COLA.


Update: See this link: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x1436970

Granted it was written in July 2011, however, it will give you an idea how much financial damage can be done to participants of Social Security. When the Bowles-Simpson Plan recommended the chained COLA, I did some research on the issue and posted this thread. I then contacted Bernie Sanders' office and asked that the data be reviewed, and if they agreed this would do substantial harm to Social Security participants to advocate against the implementation. To his credit, Bernie Sanders has not let up on the issue. He gathered the support of many of other Democrats. Here is a small portion of that thread:

"Switching to the chained CPI would reduce Social Security COLAs by about 0.3 of a percentage point each year, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, saving the federal government more than $200 billion over the next 10 years. Most of the savings would come from lower Social Security benefits and lower retirement benefits for federal employees, whose increases also are tied to the CPI.

The Senior Citizens League calculates that such a change would reduce Social Security benefits by an estimated 7 percent over a 25-year retirement. For a senior who retires in 2011 and receives the average Social Security benefit -- about $1,100 per month -- this would reduce benefits over 25 years by $18,634. The cuts would be very small in the beginning but escalate as recipients age." (emphasis added)(see http://www.tscl.org/action/emergencycola.asp .)

Additionally, the Senior Citizens League issued a emergency petition, the first three bullet points of which are:

"• The Social Security COLA should not be calculated from the consumer price index (CPI), since the CPI is based on the purchases of young urban workers and does not reflect the actual expenses of senior citizens.

• Even when CPI-based inflation is very low, the expenses that form the backbone of senior citizens’ budgets – medical insurance, prescription drugs, fuel – continue to rise alarmingly.

• The federal government itself recognizes the inequity of a CPI-based COLA by calculating a senior-specific CPI formula, which it never uses, that shows our cost of living rises faster than that of most young people."


I hope the Democrats do not agree to this but I have a sinking feeling I am going to be disappointed....

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Reply Obama Counter-Offers on Fiscal Cliff (updated with stats on a chained COLA) (Original post)
Samantha Dec 2012 OP
Cali_Democrat Dec 2012 #1
Samantha Dec 2012 #2

Response to Samantha (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 10:35 PM

1. Sounds like a shitty deal if you ask me.


I hope Obama doesn't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 10:55 PM

2. It would be

Here is the rub for me. We are in this recession because of what I call the real Bush* legacy. George W. Bush* ran up 10.5 Trillion Dollars in debt which he kept off the general ledger (Enron-type accounting maneuver). This was only publicly announced shortly after he left office. This huge debt piled up because of the Bush Tax Cuts, the Afghanistan war, the Iraq war (which I passionately opposed) and the passage of Medicare Part D, commonly referred to as a gift to the pharmaceutical companies.

I hold the Republicans responsible the condition we are in today. The Bush Tax Cuts have been largely credited with being the largest driver of our deficit. Yet, what do the Republicans demand in bipartisan compromise to ameliorate the deficit? They want to prostitute the formula for Social Security cost-of-living raises which will over a 25-year retirement cost the average retiree about $18,000*. The article I quoted also said Federal Government pensions would likewise be impacted.

In short, George W. Bush* implemented huge tax cuts which were not funded, then launched two wars and a give-away to the health industry, and the Republicans want to take a chunk out of Social Security and Government pensions to pay down the deficit. What about the defense budget? And what about Halliburton and The Carlyle Group, two of the largest profiteers of these wars, stepping up to the plate and paying their fair share of corporate taxes to assuage the problem....

Thank you for your response to my thread.


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