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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Republicans Are Demanding a 3 Percent Cut in Social Security Benefits as Part of a Budget Deal

Republicans Are Demanding a 3 Percent Cut in Social Security Benefits as Part of a Budget Deal

Sunday, 30 December 2012 14:59

Readers of the NYT article on the latest developments in the budget negotiations may have not realized that the Republican demands for changing the indexation formula for the Social Security cost of living adjustment is equivalent to a 3 percent cut in benefits for a typical retiree. The new formula would lower the adjustment by approximately 0.3 percentage points each year. This means that a retiree would be receiving 3 percent lower benefits after 10 years, 6 percent lower benefits after 20 years and 9 percent lower benefits after 30 years. If a typical retiree collects benefits for 20 years then the average reduction in benefits would be about 3.0 percent.

The piece also claims that:

"Both sides worry that the confrontational tone that the president took on “Meet the Press” was not helpful."

It only included comments from Republicans who didn't like President Obama's tone. There were no Democrats cited who had this attitude, even off the record.

Comments (9)Add Comment
written by cy klebs, December 30, 2012 2:23
I thought that SS was a paid benefit; not an entitlement.
written by Chris, December 30, 2012 2:27
Confrontational? Bahaha.

I am still astonished how soft-spoken Obama is even to the wingnuts...his response to the NRA proposal? "I'm skeptical that more guns in schools is the only solution."

Boy, most Americans reacted a hell of a lot more passionately than that.

He's such an uncontroversial character that it sometimes makes me angry.
Republican Cut?
written by LizinOregon, December 30, 2012 2:40
I appreciate your documenting the failings of the NYT coverage but wonder how you can say the Republicans are demanding the cola change. I seem to remember that Obama proposed it and also supported it last time. It's almost impossible to find a Dem who doesn't like it.
CPI and the democrats
written by Jennifer, December 30, 2012 3:57
Absolutely true that Obama himself put the chained CPI out there--was it tactical or actually desired on his part is hard to know for sure. Some senate democrats openly complained, and again, just off the mainstream media many policy writers besides Dean--Erza Klein, Matt Yglesias--pointed out how this was a cut and one that was particularly cruel. It has also been pointed out by a lot of people that nobody campaigned on social security cuts and maybe this should be just left alone. This may have helped senate democrats be more aggressive about protecting it; as of this writing the word is it is off the table.
Why is "entitlement" a bad thing now?
written by JDM, December 30, 2012 8:58
I thought that SS was a paid benefit; not an entitlement.

Same thing. Entitlement = something you are entitled to. You are entitled to Social Security because you paid for it. What's amazing is how -- once again -- the rightwing has managed to turn a word's meaning on its head and make "entitlement" something bad.
David Gregory, serious person
written by anon, December 31, 2012 7:31
I always wonder why Dean Baker is never on Meet the Press. But then David Gregory tells Obama he needs to get tough with seniors and I remember.

How about a Dean Baker AMA on Reddit?
propaganda tactics
written by frankenduf, December 31, 2012 8:10
yo JDM- see Orwell's expose viz. War = Peace, Ignorance = Strength, Entitlement = Stealing
written by anon, December 31, 2012 8:22
I might also suggest a Slashdot "interview" in addition to the IAMA. I think many there would be surprised by your views on software funding. It's very Linux obsessed over there. (Somewhat strong libertarian presence, though.)
Raise taxes
written by Mike Ballar, January 02, 2013 6:27
Good that the US ran off the fiscal cliff and the government agreed to raise taxes on the rich.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.