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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Why Is Chained CPI Bad? Social Security Is Already Too Low For Seniors Who Spend Much Of Their Income On Health Care

Last year Republicans demanded the president offer a change to Social Security known as “Chained CPI” in exchange for a “grand bargain.” Since then, 104 Republicans voted for it.

And in an attempt to reignite hopes of a new, big deficit deal, President Obama included it in his budget.

Many Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), have attacked the proposal as chipping away at Social Security, a program that Democrats created and have been defending since the 1930s. The way it hurts seniors is difficult to explain (as you can see from the AARP graphic below).

This post from The Nation debunks the myths about “Chained CPI.” But for a simple explanation, watch President Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich break it dow in the video above, with the help of his happy cartoon figures.


social security



Imag: Donkey Hotey via

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  • angelsinca

    According to Reich, the biggest concern of a chained CPI for seniors is the expected rise in health care costs. Were we not sold on Obamacare as the grand preventer of high health care costs?

    • jgsoliveira

      No! Obama took Single Payer off the table right from the start. He bent over backwards to satisfy the HMOs. What controls did he put on prices?

      • angelsinca

        Obama only signed the bill with 13 pens. You have to replay the Pelosi and Reid self accolades that cited how the ppACA would control spriralling healthcare costs.

  • Emad

    It is not only the high healthcare cost, but cost of living as well, look at the prices in your grocery store and compare it with prices just a year ago? That is not to say the cost of healthcare is low, I and my wife spend over $14,000 on drugs and insurance, and we did not see a dentist in 4 years. Obamacare only reduced the out-of-pocket by about $600 a year for us who are on Medicare, not much else. The CPI concept (Chained Consumer Price Index) is just another gift for the well-to-do whose earning has increases over 280% since 2000, but do not want to pay their fair share to the IRS and it amount to gradual tax increase on the SS recipients; another step toward eliminating the SS and Medicare altogether by the GOP. Just remember that you and your employer paid 15.4% of your entire life income into SS and Medicare, and that if you were given this money to save or invest, you wouldn’t need the SS monthly payment and perhaps pay for all your medical cost when you retire. (for a couple with average $100K/Y they would have $600,000- 1,800,000 based on investment type)

  • howa4x

    I’m turning 65 this year but have a different perspective than most other seniors. I have taken very good care of myself and my average HC expenditure is $2-300.00/year. We live in a culture that thinks we can eat whatever we want, drink to excess, fail to exercise and then throw ourselves onto the medical system and say: Save me!! and I don’t care what it costs. Well the system you are throwing yourselves on is a for profit one. They are growing stinking rich off your illnesses. When was the last time you met a dirt poor doctor, or Pharma exec? I live in an area where Big pharma is located and its is hard to keep track of all the BMW’s and Mercedes in those parking lots. This is why all the drugs they make are just marginally effective but also have pages of side effects.
    I think what really riles me is the fact that white seniors mostly vote for the very party that has said that will not make a budget deal unless there is entitlement reform. Obama refused to cut entitlements before, but now he has a gun to his head. We all want deficit reform. Well entitlements are social security and Medicare, so in effect you have voted against you own economic interest. The Republicans have demanded that entitlements be cut as part of any budget deal, the tea party also says it, and all you dopey seniors voted for them anyway. What did you think they were just kidding? So instead of closing corporate tax loopholes worth billions in revenue, or raising taxes on the 1%, the republicans you elected wanted cuts to your benefits instead, and you all went along with it. So why are you yelling now? You didn’t support the democrats that were defending you. So stop the winning and take the medicine you voted for.

    • jgsoliveira

      That’s sad when a red neck in sweats at the polling station makes jokes against Democrats.

      • howa4x

        I’ve seen dopey seniors that had tea shirts that read :tell the govt to keep its hands off my Medicare

  • Then for some of us add the so-called Windfall Elimination Provision which steals up to two-thirds of our Social Security because we have worked for and earned a pension in another country. The rules say a person cannot be taxed twice on income from another country. What a lie, this is nothing other than taxation through the back-door.

  • jgsoliveira

    And I did vote for Obama! Next elections I’ll go Independent.

  • You only need to understand one simple fact here. When Obama is negotiating with the GOP and SS is brought up by Obama, we lose. He is once again selling out the middle class. Elizabeth Warren for Pres.

  • susan collins

    Gee I wish I understood all this! But if this is about America it stinks. they just keep taking away. Us older people are going to put us in the in the trash!!Obama is stupid,or he just acts that way! My house payment is 1,100,,, Our ss is 1,800. where does that leave us. I need insurance too!