Trump's stealth attack on Social Security: "Chained CPI"

Trump was elected by old white people who are certain they'll be dead before climate change renders the planet uninhabitable, but who are also seriously invested in continuing to receive Social Security benefits, which is why Trump repeatedly promised to protect Social Security during the 2016 presidential race.

Trump always lies about everything, so of course he recently proposed a budget with billions in Social Security cuts, which the Democratic Congress will almost certainly block.

But that doesn't mean Social Security is safe; although Trump himself is a low-attention-span bungler, he has surrounded himself with villains who've actually paid attention and devised a myriad of ways of transferring wealth from poor people to rich people.

One such measure is redefining the inflation metric used for adjusting the federal definition of poverty. The Trump regime has proposed a unilateral switch to the "Chained Consumer Price Index," which will make it much harder to be officially recognized as poor (though it will have no effect whatsoever on the actual number of poor people). Not only will this deprive many people of access to food, shelter, health care and other benefits, it will also profoundly redefine the Social Security benefit.

Social Security benefits are adjusted for inflation (nominally -- in reality, Social Security loses ground to inflation every year); and under the new inflation index, Social Security benefits will begin an endless real-terms slide, until the already modest benefit that Americans have paid for all their working lives is eroded to a useless nubbin.

Trump's viziers claim they can make this change without Congressional oversight.

Trump thinks that he can get away with executing this long-game attack on Social Security quietly, while the media and public are focused on his tweets, name calling, and scandals. But we must not be distracted. If we do not stop this attack in its tracks, our earned benefits will be next.

If you want to forestall another fight over cutting Social Security through the chained CPI, call your members of Congress, write to your local paper, and tell your friends: No chained CPI! No chained CPI for our earned benefits! No chained CPI for the most vulnerable among us!

This quiet effort to embed the chained CPI is a fight Trump does not want to have, certainly in an election year. But it is one we will bring to him. Grassroots activism defeated the chained CPI before. This time it will be harder because Trump can substitute the chained CPI without legislation. That means we have to simply fight harder. If we stick together, we surely will win. And we must. All of our economic security depends on it.

Beware Trump's Sneak Attack on Social Security [Nancy J. Altman/Common Dreams]

(via Naked Capitalism)