Congressional Liberals Likely To Agree To Cutting Social Security Benefits Through CPI Chaining

A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 17 2012 4:14 PM

Congressional Liberals Likely To Agree To Cutting Social Security Benefits Through CPI Chaining

There's an increased pace of rumor-mongering around a budget deal in which cutting Social Security benefits by switching to the Chained CPI will feature as a headline Democratic concession. It's easy to find progressive activists and progressive groups who don't like this idea, but make no mistake—it's something most liberals in congress will stomach as part of a broader deal that has other elements they like.

The Medicare eligibility age was another story. There are Democrats who support kicking 65 and 66 year-olds off Medicare and others willing to swallow it as the price of a deal, but even if the White House fully backed such a plan they'd get plenty of pushback from House Democrats and some senators. The CPI issue is seen differently, and staffers who worked to scuttle any talk of a Medicare deal have also tried to lay the groundwork for CPI chaining as an acceptable concession. It's a little bit hard to say exactly why this is, except that the abilty to characterize the change as technical in nature seems to make many feel like it's less a breach of principal to give ground here than on other aspects of entitlements. And it is true that most researchers think that, in general, chain-type indexes are a better way of measuring the hedonic impact of price shifts.

Advertisement

That said, as more details of a potential deal emerge I remain interested to see what happens to the very poorest group of senior citizens which should be an area of concern with the Chained CPI since it's basically an indiscriminate cut.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.