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Opinion - Opinion
Mail: Response to 'Are you kidding?'Tell North Platte what you think

Obviously “are you kidding” is exercising his 1st Amendment right of free speech by calling me “ignorant.” (talkback to 'Say no to chained cost-of-living index')

I urge people to say No to any new congressional legislative action that would be a so-called “chained” CPI (C-CPI) reduction of benefits of veterans, Social Security as well as others on beneficiary programs.

When on rare occasion that I write about an issue I do research the topic.

I first read about this “chained” CPI idea in the American Legion in 2012 - “Cost-of-living benefits-threatened” - that stated that such would affect future reduction of benefits for veterans (http://www.legion.org/veteransbenefits/213223/cost-living-benefits-threatened).

This change of policy as it would deal with entitlement benefits caught my attention so I looked into it further.

I found out that AARP and Wikipedia.org provided good definitions of both the present CPI and the concept of a “chained” CPI. These explanations can be found at:


Or: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Chained_Consumer_Price_Index

So any legislative change of the current CPI to a “chained” CPI would require the Bureau of Labor Statistics to post at the end of each year what percentage of benefit (cost of living adjustment) would be made for the next year. Simply put a C-CPI would be a reduction of benefits as shown at the above web sites.

So who or whom is attempting to change the COLA with a new C-CPI?

On Oct. 3, the Huffington Post posted the following story: GOP Should Shut Down the Chained CPI. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-richtman/gop-should-shut-down-the-_b_4038046.html This story reminds us that the Bowels/Simpson commission and congressmen Paul Ryan and others by using the C-CPI that it could be used to reduce the national debt.

Thus, even the Obama administration as well as the GOP has had past budget discussions about using the C-CPI to reduce the debt. So since the Huffington Post as well as a warning from a regular e-mail political service that I use both warn of a push being made in Washington DC to use the C-CPI as a chip for negotiating a benefit reduction way to reduce the debt.

Additionally Factcheck.org http://www.factcheck.org/2012/12/chained-explained/ provides a well-stated and unbiased explanation of both a right and left review of the meaning of a Chained CPI and the effect of such on seniors and beneficiaries.

So, I hope this replaces any thought of “scare talk” to that of the reality of concern of the facts of those wanting to replace the present CPI with an unfavorable C-CPI.

By John Hasenauer, Harrison

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 10/10/2013
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