Nobody likes the chained CPI. And yet, the Very Serious People are still Very Serious about it:
On the news that President Obama’s budget indeed contains a highly unpopular proposal for Social Security cuts known as “chained CPI,” a new poll by the American Association of Retired Persons shows us exactly how unpopular it is.
The AARP reveals that 70 percent of voters age 50-plus oppose the use of the chained CPI to cut benefits, and two-thirds of them – including 60 percent of Republicans — say they would be “considerably less likely” to support a congressional candidate if he or she backed a new way of calculating consumer prices. And 84 percent of voters over 50 say Social Security has no place in budget-deficit discussions, since it is self-financed.
On every single question, Republicans lag only a point or two behind Democrats in their opposition to Social Security cuts.
Michael Lind explains why it’s such a bad deal on policy terms here. I’ve written about it many times, including here. The AARP opposes it on policy terms. Now its new survey shows how risky it is politically.
“The chained CPI reduction snowballs over time and would increase taxes for most taxpayers — at the same time that it cuts benefits for children, veterans, widows, retirees, and people with disabilities,” said AARP executive vice president Nancy LeaMond in a statement. “As this survey shows, older Americans oppose the chained CPI and they’ve historically made their opinions known to their elected officials.”
Just remember, a lot of the people who will make angry statements over the next few weeks are the same people who insisted they wouldn't support the affordable care act without a public option. So time will tell who's full of shit.