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Friday, July 8, 2011

A fork in the road my friends

Bloomberg:


A proposal to cut Social Security costs and raise tax revenue by changing the way the government measures inflation ran into opposition from Democrats and Republicans.
President Barack Obama and lawmakers, searching for ways to reduce the deficit, are discussing using an alternative yardstick for gauging inflation to calculate annual cost-of- living adjustments for millions of Americans, according to congressional aides.
The idea of switching to the “chained consumer price index” has been endorsed by economists, who say the current inflation measure exaggerates how much prices increase. Yet it’s unpopular with many lawmakers because it could mean cutting Social Security by $112 billion over 10 years while increasing taxes by $60 billion, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
“We are not going to balance the budget on the backs of America’s seniors,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California said yesterday. Negotiators should “not consider Social Security a piggy bank for giving tax cuts to the wealthiest people in this country.”
Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, expressed concern that the change would amount to a tax increase because the tax code is adjusted for inflation.
“I’m not for raising taxes under any circumstances,” he said. “We’re taxed enough.”


Salon:

"This is not real politik, it is not triangulation and it isn't even Bush-ism (that is, taking unpopular positions and then just arrogantly pursuing them without regard for public will). No, we are watching a sort of Orwellian dystopia. Indeed, it is a sight to behold: a regime that believes it can say one set of things over and over and over again, and then do exactly the opposite."

My patience for "my party" is quickly starting to strain with this sort of discussion...

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