April 13, 2013
Re "Obama's entitlement gambit," Opinion, April 10 The current calculation used to determine adjustments to Social Security benefits is based on the cost of living for an urban worker, not a senior. Therefore, it doesn't account for the greater percentage of income the average senior spends on healthcare. Because the cost of healthcare rises faster than other necessities, even the current formula does not adequately protect seniors from inflation. Switching to the "chained CPI" to determine payouts, as President Obama proposed to do in his 2014 budget, would only make a bad situation worse.
April 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's proposal to trim Social Security's cost-of-living adjustments has sparked not only Democratic outrage, but Republican confusion. In the days since Obama put the idea in his 2014 budget, Republicans' reactions have included support, opposition and refusal to commit. The proposal was once a mainstay of the GOP's deficit-reduction overtures to the White House. House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that the idea, the so-called chained Consumer Price Index, “is the least we must do to begin to solve the problems in Social Security.” DOCUMENT: President Obama's 2014 budget But the chairman of the House Republican Congressional Committee, who is trying to preserve the party's majority in the House in the next election, called it a “shocking attack on seniors.” “You're trying to balance this budget on the backs of seniors and I just think it's not the right way to go,” Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon told CNN. That potentially off-message comment provoked swift rebuke from the powerful Club for Growth, the conservative advocacy group that supports the measure as a starting point for reining in spending on government entitlement programs.
April 10, 2013 |
President Obama won't release his proposed budget for 2014 until Wednesday, but liberals and AARP have been howling all week about something they expect to be in it. What has our president done to provoke such outrage among his supporters? He's chained CPI. In an attempt to meet Republicans halfway in the battle over taxes and spending, Obama has offered to change the formula for calculating Social Security's annual cost-of-living increase - an "entitlement reform" GOP leaders have long asked for. The result would not change current Social Security benefits, but it would reduce future raises by an estimated three-tenths of 1% in the first year, or about $42 for the average beneficiary.
April 2, 2013 |
Ed Lorenzen, a representative of a clutch of Washington groups aiming to cut Social Security benefits for you and me, takes issue with my recent blog post calling out one of their "reforms" as a stealthy, and deceitful, benefit cut . Lorenzen even tries to enlist me in his campaign by selectively quoting from my 2005 book, "The Plot Against Social Security," in his essay, published today on The Times' website. Lorenzen is executive director of the Moment of Truth Project and an "advisor" to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
April 2, 2013 |
In his March 22 blog post criticizing proposals to switch from the consumer price index to "chained CPI" to determine cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security beneficiaries and other items in the federal budget, Michael Hiltzik claimed that there were "no grounds" for the statement made in a recent paper from the Moment of Truth Project (" Measuring Up, The Case for Chained CPI" ) that the chained CPI provides a more accurate measure of inflation than the measure currently used. In fact, experts across the ideological spectrum agree that the chained CPI is indeed more accurate.
April 2, 2013 |
Bonnie Lee worked for 12 years as a health technician for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, started her own Web services company, and raised two kids as a single mother in Ontario. Then Bonnie, 51, moved back East to rural Pennsylvania and took up work as a visiting nurse - until her leg shattered from an otherwise undiagnosed case of osteoporosis. Now she can't stand, drive or even sit up for long periods of time, much less lift a patient. In 2003, after a long wait during which she drained her IRA, life insurance and 401(k)