A full endorsement of the hated "Chained CPI" scheme that will chisel away money from the nation's most needy people — senior citizens, especially women — will be released in Obama's White House budget, due out next week. No specific date was given for the release, but White House spokesman Jay Carney on April 5 promised that "this president's budget will be so much more detailed than anything you have seen from the Republicans that it will blow your mind." Carney said this in response to the question: "So when will we see a list of those spending cuts?"
Leading Democrats from the Progressive Caucus to Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have been blasting the idea of "chained CPI" for months, but Gene Sperling, the Director of Obama's National Economic Council, says that Obama "prefers" the CCPI as the way to cut Social Security.
You remember Sperling — he's the guy who threatened reporter Bob Woodward for writing that it was Obama, not the Republicans who came up with the idea of "sequester."
In a briefing on reddit.com, Sperling embraced the Chained CPI as the plan which reduces the cost-of-living allowance year after year after year, by recalculating the CPI based on the fiction that, as prices go up, consumers buy substitute, cheaper products instead of the costlier ones.
Sperling, implicitly harking back to Orwell's Newspeak, changes the name of this death-by-austerity measure from "Chained CPI" to "Superlative CPI," according to AMERICAblog.com, which posts Sperling's early March statement.
"The superlative CPI makes two technical corrections to the standard CPI: it accounts for consumers' ability to substitute between goods in response to changes in relative prices and accounts for biases arising from small samples," Sperling says. He crows that "Superlative CPI" provides a more accurate measure of the average change in the cost of living than standard CPI," and adds that "The President would prefer to have this adjustment in the context of larger Social Security reform...."
In contrast, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has a two-minute video on Huffington Post today (paid for by moveon.org), that blasts this fascist scheme, and urges viewers to mobilize Congress to block this measure. Reich says that Obama's cuts go way beyond the Republicans, noting that "even Paul Ryan's budget" did not include Chained CPI.
Reich says it's ludicrous to apply CCPI to Social Security recipients, since 20 to 40% of their income goes to pay for medical care and medicines — and you cannot substitute "cheaper" products. Furthermore, the Social Security fund is "flush" with money for the next "twenty years," so these cuts do not have anything to do with reducing the debt as Obama lies.
The median income of retirees in the U.S. is $20,000, Reich says, with the average social security payment being about $15,000 — for women, the figure is about $13,000 a year, so cutting this meager stipend with phony inflation calculations is devastating for the seniors. Reich's video can be seen at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/chained-cpi_b_ 3016471.html.