Senate Nears Debt Ceiling Consensus Which Demands Change In CPI Definition
Politico reports that the latest development in the constantly changing and oh so theatric "struggle" to find a compromise on how to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion, is one which will not only not do anything to fix the deficit situation but will in fact set America back, as a key part of the "savings" will come precisely from the same change in the definition of inflation courtesy of the Chained CPI introduction, which the democrats previously blasted, and for good reason: because it will be an implicit theft from Social Security. Recall that the last time this was proposed the AARP started foaming in the mouth within minutes. The broad strokes of the plan are as follows: "The once moribund Senate “Gang of Six” regained new life Tuesday after Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn unexpectedly rejoined the group — and more senators are now coalescing around a new proposal that would cut the debt by as much as $3.7 trillion over the next decade. According to a copy of the plan, obtained by POLITICO, the group would impose a two-step legislative process that would make $500 billion worth of cuts immediately followed by a second bill to create a “fast-track process” that would propose a comprehensive bill aimed at dramatically restructuring tax and spending programs. The plan calls for changes to Social Security to move on a separate track, and establishes an elaborate procedure for considering the measures on the floor." And here is the kicker: "The $500 billion in cuts would come from a range of sources, including shifting to a new consumer price index to make cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security." Care to wager what the bulk of this $500 billion will come from: that's right - social security, whose deliverable obligations will plunge as suddenly the inflation variable in the actuarial calculation will very mysteriously be cut courtesy of Senate-endorsed theft.
More from Politico:
To enact a comprehensive deficit plan, the group calls for congressional committees to report legislation within six months that would “deliver real deficit savings in entitlement programs over 10 years,” the plan says.
It calls on the Finance Committee to permanently reform or replace Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate - an outdated formula aimed at determining the amount to reimburse doctors for treating Medicare patients - by $298 billion.
The Finance Committee would be instructed to deliver “real deficit savings” through simplifying the tax code and raise as much as $1 trillion. It would do this by establishing three tax brackets with rates of 8-12 percent, 14-22 percent and 23-29 percent. It would permanently repeal the $1.7 trillion Alternative Minimum Tax. And it calls for establishing a single corporate tax rate, between 23 percent and 29 percent, and to move to a competitive territorial tax system.
Overall, the group claims it would result in a $1.5 trillion net tax decrease.
The group punts many of the specifics to other committees, which would be asked to find savings in discretionary and mandatory spending. This includes: $80 billion out of Armed Services; $70 billion out of Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; $65 billion out of Homeland Security and Government Affairs; $11 billion out of Agriculture; $11 billion out of Commerce; $6 billion out of Energy and Natural Resources. The Judiciary Committee would be asked to find savings through medical malpractice reform.
Who is pushing the Chained CPI bill?
Senators in the Gang of Six - Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Coburn - discussed the proposal with 43 senators Tuesday morning on the first floor of the Senate, after more than six months of struggling to broker a deal.
And here are the next steps in the theater:
If any committee cannot propose cuts, it would would impose “across-the-board” cuts to programs under the panel’s jurisdiction. It would exempt programs aimed at low-income communities.
To avoid gridlock, floor amendments that upset the deficit-reduction goals would be ruled out of order. Any bill that could receive 60 votes would be held at the desk until the Senate considers the separate Social Security bill.
Once a comprehensive deficit plan has the votes, a measure aimed at ensuring 75-years of solvency of Social Security would head to the floor. The Finance Committee would be required to recommend the Social Security changes.
Bottom line: our initial prediction that absolutely nothing will change now appears been optimistic, as the net result will be a far worse outcome, one which effectively changes the rules vis-a-vis inflation tracking, making stealth devaluation a core premise of this and any other future "deficit reductions."
Once again, middle-class America is about to be raped by its own "representatives" while the banking oligarchy flourishes.
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