Sunday, December 23

Obama, Boehner, the Fiscal Curb and Chained CPI

This morning's UP with Chris Hayes featured Dean Baker, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, who deconstructed the fiscal cliff negotiations (Hayes calls it a "curb") and chained CPI:
These people have zero record of being right about anything, you're talking about members of Congress. Well, the economists supposedly behind this: zero. If these people [members of Congress] were held accountable for their work, they would all be unemployed right now.

Chained CPI is a big cut. It's 3/10 of a percent a year that's cumulative. You've been getting benefits for 10 years, you've lost 3 percent of your benefits. After 20 years, 6 percent. After 30 years, 9 percent. The hit to the typical Social Security beneficiary is considerably larger than the tax hit to the typical person [who makes more than] $250,000, who would be subject to Clinton-era tax rates, and we're supposed to be told this is not a big deal.

Most seniors are not living particularly well. Roughly 40 percent rely on their Social Security check, which averages just over $1200 per month, for 90 percent or more of their income. Almost 70 percent rely on it for more than half of their income.


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