Democrats Slam Obama’s Chained CPI Proposal

by Andrew Johnson

President Obama is expected to release his budget on Wednesday, and leaked reports indicate that it will include a proposal for a new measure of inflation to determine Social Security benefits that’s less generous, called chained CPI. That new formula happens to be quite unpopular with Democrats and progressives. Below, the most severe backlash against the president’s proposal:

  • Senate majority leader Harry Reid adamantly refused a White House proposal that included chained CPI during last year’s fiscal-cliff negotiations, according to the Washington Post: “Aides said Reid actually tore up the proposal and threw it into the blazing fire in his ornate green marble fireplace. The paper burned. Reid said he didn’t want evidence that the idea had ever been considered.”
  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) released a statement this morning saying, “I am terribly disappointed and will do everything in my power to block President Obama’s proposal to cut benefits for Social Security recipients through a chained consumer price index.” Sanders penned an op-ed for the Hill in February titled “Chained CPI: An economic, moral disaster.”
  • Representative Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.), ranking member in the House Budget Committee, said he has “serious” and “substantive concerns” about the president’s proposals, including chained CPI, on MSNBC’s NewsNation with Tamron Hall this afternoon (video above).
  •’s executive director Anna Galland told the New York Times today, “President Obama’s plan to cut Social Security would harm seniors who worked hard all their lives,” lamenting that “the drive to cut Social Security is being led by President Obama and Democrats.”
  • Lastly, former labor secretary Robert Reich wrote and posted a video on the Huffington Post yesterday detailing “why the White House shouldn’t be touting” chained CPI.

When the president officially unveils his budget on Wednesday, expect more of this.