President Barack Obama reneged on his campaign promise to protect Social Security and the middle class this week-- by shockingly unveiling a budget proposal that would change tax brackets and Social Security cost-of-living adjustments from being pegged to the Consumer Price Index to a "chained CPI," which is based on the assumption that inflation rises more slowly than the CPI (anybody who's struggled to make ends meet the last four years knows what crap that is).
Such a switch to "chained CPI" would reduce future benefit increases and push more taxpayers into higher brackets, a phenomenon known as "bracket creep." For an average worker retiring at the age of 65, this would amount to a cut of $650 a year by age 75. At age 85, this would be a cut of $1,130 a year.
Americans for Tax Reform, the advocacy group that asks lawmakers to sign a formal "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," said this week that chained CPI violates the pledge.
Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, leader of the organization, criticized the policy via Twitter, saying "Chained CPI is a very large tax hike over time."
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that chained CPI would reduce Social Security spending by $127 billion and increase tax revenue by $123 billion over 10 years.
When asked Friday if chained CPI represents a tax hike on the middle class, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "I'm not disputing that."
For me, that's the last straw for Obama. I don't believe anymore that he cares enough about the elderly or the middle class-- and he's given the GOP a perfect talking point against every Democrat that voices even the slightest support for Obama's proposal. Everyone needs to bombard their congressmen and tell them to protect Social Security and the middle class and abandon any and all support for Obama's attack on Social Security.
Senate phone numbers and addresses can be found here. House phone numbers and addresses can be found here.