[...] It is a rare proposal in that it would likely lead to both lower benefits paid to seniors and higher taxes paid by most people who pay federal income tax. As such, it could allow Republicans to argue they are tackling federal entitlement programs such as Social Security, and permit Democrats to say they are increasing taxes as part of any budget deal that is reached. It could be easier for both parties to agree on than a significant overhaul to the Medicare proposal or an increase of taxes on wealthier Americans. … – Change To Inflation Measurement On Table As Part Of Budget Talks – Aides
Pres. Obama and Democrats have to put everything on the table even when Republicans won’t put anything. For Democrats it’s just plain stupid, but you see it will provide cover for both parties as they try to keep their separate ideological purity intact, except it helps Republicans a lot more than Democrats, if you ask me.
It begins with changing how the Consumer Price Index is calculated (h/t David Dayen), which reportedly could save around $220 billion over the next decade, not exactly chump change.
From a press release from the Strengthen Social Security Campaign:
Social Security COLA Change Being Considered by Obama Administration and Congressional Budget Negotiators Would Cut Benefits, Betray Seniors and Families, Experts Charge
(Washington, D.C.) – Obama Administration and Congressional budget negotiators are considering a proposal that would cut the Social Security benefits of current and future retirees by changing the formula used to calculate the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which would be a betrayal to all Social Security beneficiaries charged several policy experts today. It also would cut the benefits of people with disabilities and their families, children who have lost parents, and all other beneficiaries.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates adoption of the so-called “Chained-CPI,” which would be used to determine Social Security’s annual COLA, would cut benefits by $112 billion over 10 years. The Social Security Administration Chief Actuary estimates the effects of this change would be that beneficiaries who retire at age 65 and receive average benefits would get $560 less a year at age 75 than they would under current law and get $1,000 less a year at age 85 — a 3.7 percent cut and a 6.5 percent cut, respectively. [See analysis here] The proposal will cut $1.6 trillion over Social Security’s 75 year valuation period — mainly from the oldest of the old, primarily women and disproportionately poor.
Much more at Strengthen Social Security.
Here’s the contact information for the White House.