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July 07, 2011

Obama Wants To Cut Social Security?

The reform in question here is a change in the way cost-of-living adjustments are calculated. The COLAs employed are really cost-of-living plus, because the formula (it has long been maintained) overstates true COLAs and thus represents a constant escalation of benefits above COLA adjustments.

Of course, this reform sure would have done a lot more good 20 years ago, rather than as Baby Boomers are beginning their big draw from the system, escalated benefits already locked-in and sacrosanct.

As it stands, this change would only save between $100 billion and $200 billion over ten years. Not exactly a big-ticket item.

current measure of inflation overstates how quickly prices rise. “There hasn’t been any economist anywhere that says we shouldn’t do that,” said Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican who was one of the so-called Gang of Six lawmakers that tried to develop a long-term debt plan. “We need a CPI that truly reflects what’s happening in the economy, not what’s good for the politicians.”

Not at all surprisingly, Obama won't actually publicly mention this. Because he, um, "leads from behind" or something. Which is another way to say he is too cowardly and unstatesmanlike to propose this publicly himself, relying on underlings to leak it to the press, to make it seem as if this was cooked up by Republicans.

The idea, which was discussed both as part of a series of debt talks led by Vice President Joe Biden and by the Gang of Six, resurfaced yesterday during a meeting between Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and House Democrats, according to a congressional aide. Democrats pressed Geithner on the issue and he didn’t rule it out, according to the aide.

Of course, given Obama's unpopularity, maybe we don't really want his dubious powers of persuasion on this.

With regard to Obama's poor poll numbers: The media continues to refuse to note that Obama is, officially, unpopular, because they would like to maintain the fiction that only a "fringe" disapproves of Obama.

You know, the 49-51% "fringe."


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posted by Ace at 04:27 PM

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