Chained CPI Benefit cut chart

President Obama Proposes Cuts to Social Security

Call your member of Congress about your pledge not to vote for anyone who votes to cut Social Security benefits.



Call your Congressman today.

Democrats are all unanimous in their opposition to “massive cuts” to Social Security, so they have decided to just call it something else.  Brian Beutler at TPM reports:

What’s In A Name? Dems Support Social Security Benefit Cut — By Calling It Something Else

Social Security benefit cuts may be a bridge too far for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). But what if Republicans and Democrats alike just agreed to refer to a benefit cut by another name.

That’s how key negotiators have decided to treat one policy proposal, popular in Washington, that would simultaneously raise tax revenues and reduce Social Security benefits. As explained at length here, the idea is to peg federal Cost of Living Adjustments to a new, stingier measure of inflation.

Democratic leadership apparently believes that you won’t be able to figure out what the chart above quite clearly represents:  a benefit cut.

Let’s read the next part carefully, because people are going to be hearing a whole lot of bullshit over the ensuing days.  So if anyone tries to tell you that this new way to calculate the COLA is going to result in no change to Social Security benefits, point them to the chart  and read this to them:

Experts say the new index (the so-called Chained Consumer Price Index) is a more realistic metric for measuring inflation’s impact on peoples’ behavior. But the fact remains that if the change goes through as part of a grand bargain to lower deficits and raise the debt limit, retirees will receive less money each month than they’re currently promised.

“Retirees will receive less money each month than they’re currently promised.”  How does a plan designed to cut spending NOT  reduce payment to Social Security beneficiaries?  Where is the savings going to come from, cheaper paper for the copy machines? The mind boggles that anyone would even try to fob this off, but if they are, there are two possibilities:  they are mentally ill, or lying shamelessly to advance their own interests.  No sane person comes up with this empirically.

But this next part is particular important:

And if you think Democrats are playing dumb because they want a deal, think again. They’re some of the biggest supporters of this plan.

Once more, this time with feeling:

Reducing the COLA is something top Obama administration officials have wanted to do for a long time.

Obama WANTS to reduce your COLA. Get it? It doesn’t matter how many professional trolls fan out to promulgate this wave of Democratic Party PR bullshit. Nobody believes the DCCC, or Nancy Pelosi, or Chris Van Hollen, or Jim Clyburn, when they simultaneously pledge to keep Social Security from being cut….and then try to call what is very CLEARLY a CUT by another name. And then tell people they want to do it to “save” Social Security.

This has been Pete Peterson’s tactic for years. The bitter old bastard has pledged a billion dollars to destroy Social Security because he’ll never be Henry Kraviz, and he wants a legacy. It’s been the message of every Social Security slasher since time immemorial. Nobody thinks they’ll be successful waging a war against an overwhelmingly popular program by saying you want to destroy it, so our entire political class has turned into a pack of concern trolls who want to force this bitter medicine down the country’s throat because they care so very much.

The total compensation and benefits at publicly traded Wall Street banks hit a record $135 billion last year, thanks to the money that Congress has been shoveling at them.  Tell it to the hand.

And then call your member of Congress and tell them the romance is over: tell them that if Congress cuts Social Security benefits, you won’t vote for them.

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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