Chained CPI: 4 Opinions From the Press

It’s not only politicians who have mixed reactions to a different way of calculating cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security benefits. Newspaper editorial writers and columnists are conflicted, too. The chained consumer price index, included in President Obama’s budget proposal, would mean that seniors’ checks would go up a little slower each year. The chained CPI assumes that as prices go up, consumers buy cheaper substitute goods to make up for it. Here’s how it’s playing among the mainstream press’s opinion …

9 Things to Look for in the President’s Budget

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives approved a budget proposal first. Then came a very different document from the Democratic-controlled Senate. Now thousands more pages of numbers will land with a thud on Capitol Hill on April 10. It’s the president’s annual budget proposal. Unless you’re an underemployed CPA or an incurable policy wonk, you probably won’t want to wade through all that. So here’s a short checklist of what you should watch for in the budget: A chained CPI. This twist on …

COLA Change: How Much Would You Lose?

The chained CPI – a proposal to change the way the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is calculated for Social Security and veterans benefits – can be as confusing as its name. And with it comes a number of daunting statistics: Retirees and veterans would lose $129 billion in benefits over the next 10 years. If you’re 62 and take early retirement this year, by age 92 you’d be losing the equivalent of a full month of income every year. Poverty rates …

5 Reasons Chained CPI Is Bad For Social Security

David Certner is the Legislative Counsel and Director of Legislative Policy for Government Affairs at AARP. Congress and the Administration are considering, as a means of deficit reduction, a legislative change to the consumer price index – the so-called “chained CPI.” This change would have a particularly negative impact on Social Security benefits – here’s why: 1. Chained CPI compounds over time.  As a result of a chained CPI, there will be a 0.3% annual cut in Social Security cost …

Hammering an Idea for Stingier COLAs

This video might leave you with the impression that nobody wants a proposed change for calculating cost-of-living adjustments (COLA). Not older Americans. Not veterans. Not women. Not labor. And certainly not independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. That the so-called chained Consumer Price Index has no support isn’t the case, of course, or these people wouldn’t have met at the U.S. Capitol to take turns bashing the proposal. Though the formula would slow increases in Social Security, veterans and …

Unlikely Allies Against a COLA Change for Social Security

David Certner, AARP legislative policy director, and Andrew G. Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, are both against a proposed change in the formula that’s used to calculate Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. That Certner and Biggs would find common ground is surprising, considering how often AARP and the AEI, a Washington, D.C., think tank, are at odds on policy issues. How surprising? Here’s Biggs’ opening remark at their moderated discussion on the issue: …