The current cost of living adjustment for Social Security is CPI-W, the center line in the chart above. The chart shows dollars normalized for inflation into the future. CPI-W doesn’t actually keep up with the real cost of living for seniors because their costs are different than the national average. So, already, today, Social Security benefits are falling behind over time.
President Obama proposes employing “Chained CPI” (called “Superlative CPI” on the White House website – pure doublespeak worthy of 1984!) which will cause seniors surviving on Social Security to fall even farther behind the very real cost of living. Note that the White House counts it as a $130 billion cut, even though supporters say this is a “reduction in the increase.”
There is, in fact, a strong case to be made for expanding Social Security rather than cutting it, which has been widely covered. But our nominally Democratic president would prefer to cut it instead, which is an enormous mistake.
Social Security is not the cause of the nation’s large budget deficits, explaining that Social Security is a self-financed, off-budget program and any reduction in it does nothing to address the shortfall in the rest of the federal budget.
So here we sit with a “Democratic” president whose proposals are to the right of Ronald Reagan. How do you fix that?
Voting “D” got us this. Vote “R”? Not hardly, that would be a hundred times worse.