Thursday, July 7, 2011
Bruce Krasting writes:
One aspect of the “compromise” talk is a story about how changing inflation calculations could generate significant new revenue for the IRS. The technical description is a change from CPI-W to the Chained CPI for the purposes of indexing various aspects of the tax code.
The Joint Committee on Taxation did a review of this. I was surprised with the results. The consequences are measured in the following chart that looks at things out in 2021. Look at what income groups have a tax increase as a result of this. Those making Less Than $100k would get hit by the highest percentage. Those that make $500k-1mm do pay 0.1% more, but the really fat cats making over a Mil don’t feel it at all.
Tyler Durden notes:
As we reported some time ago, one of the serious proposals to deal with the deficit situation is to make a revolutionary actuarial adjustment and change the way the actual definition of inflation. As we reported: "Lawmakers are considering changing how the Consumer Price Index is calculated, a move that could save perhaps $220 billion and represent significant progress in the ongoing federal debt ceiling and deficit reduction talks.Mr. Durden is correct. Why not accept a real debt compromise?
Yet reminding everyone that there is no such thing as a free lunch in finance, the "biggest savings—an estimated $112 billion—would be from slowing the growth in the cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security beneficiaries." Sure enough someone is unhappy. Enter the AARP which is already screaming, justifiably, bloody murder should the administration proceed with what will be an outright slashing of Social Security obligations. "AARP will not accept any cuts to Social Security as part of a deal to pay the nation’s bills,” said Rand. “Social Security did not cause the deficit, and it should not be cut to reduce a deficit it did not cause." Did Obama's war with America's seniors just enter Defcon 1?
The AARP has finally understood what changing the CPI definition means. The resulting angry letter is the first response. Many more will follow.Alas, we doubt this statement will do much to change the mind of the administration which is now openly robbing America's elderly to fund its relentless spending and specifically the uberwealthy ...
AARP CEO A. Barry Rand this morning offered the following strong statement as key congressional leaders meet with the President today to discuss a framework for a deal to raise the debt ceiling and to address deficit reduction. AARP is focused on protecting Social Security and Medicare for the millions of beneficiaries who have paid into the systems over their working lives, and reiterates its position that Social Security and Medicare benefits should not be on the table for deficit reduction.
“AARP will not accept any cuts to Social Security as part of a deal to pay the nation’s bills,” said Rand. “Social Security did not cause the deficit, and it should not be cut to reduce a deficit it did not cause. As the President and Congress work to negotiate a deal to raise the debt ceiling, AARP urges all lawmakers to reject any proposals that would cut the benefits seniors have earned through a lifetime of hard work.
"AARP will fight any cuts that are proposed to this important program, including proposals to reduce the cost of living adjustment for beneficiaries (COLA)—such as the proposed chained CPI—which AARP also believes should not be considered as part of the debt ceiling or deficit reduction negotiations.
“AARP also strongly urges the President and congressional leaders to reject any proposals that would impose arbitrary, harmful cuts to the Medicare program or shift additional costs onto Medicare beneficiaries. Half of all beneficiaries live on incomes of less than $22,000, and many already struggle to pay for their ever-rising health and prescription drug costs.
“Some have proposed requiring Medicare beneficiaries to pay even more for their Medicare benefits, either through higher co-payments or higher premiums. AARP strongly urges you to reject higher costs for people in Medicare. Before we shift additional cost burdens onto beneficiaries, Congress should address the real problem of increasing health care costs throughout the entire system.
“Throughout the deficit reduction and debt ceiling debate, AARP will continue its efforts to raise the voices of our members who depend on Social Security and Medicare for their health and economic security,” Rand concluded.