Mar 4, 2013

Exciting And Sexy Twitter Fight Over Chained CPI

Wonkette author Ann Marie Cox
     From Wonkette:
This weekend we got a shining example of the utter existential futility our president must feel every day when dealing with the nitwits in the opposition party, in the form of the debate over tying Social Security payments to the Chained Consumer Price Index (CCPI). “Chained” SSI is something conservatives have long wanted because it would recalculate the way the government measures inflation, leading to slower growth of every Social Security recipient's yearly cost-of-living increases. ...
Needless to say, as [columnist Joe] Klein points out, the president has long made CCPI a part of his plan for solving the sequester nonsense. It is right here on the official White House website. It has been right here on the official White House website ...
Anyway, this led on Saturday to an exciting and sexy TWITTER FIGHT involving various pundits, including Klein and one Mike Murphy, a GOP consultant and strategist and allegedly one of those mythical Republican “moderates” we keep hearing about but thought had long been hunted to extinction for the crime of moral squishiness. ...
Murphy had recently written in Time that if the president wanted the GOP to come to the table, he should endorse CCPI. When several pundits this past Saturday pointed out to Murphy on Twitter that the president has indeed done so (right here on the official White House website!) he first denied it, then dismissed Obama’s particular CCPI proposal as a “small-beans gimmick.” So to sum up: first this top Republican, a one-time strategist for the last two GOP presidential candidates and writer for a major weekly news magazine, does not know there exists a proposal for something he has deemed crucial to sequester negotiations, then denies the existence of the proposal, then says “Meh, proposal shmoposal, it’s too small and I just decided he has to do a bunch of other stuff too so shut up argle bargle derp.” ...
It was at this point that yr Wonkette, having weathered our own head exploding several times as we scrolled through this thread, injected ourselves into the conversation by tweeting at Murphy that whatever the merits of the proposal, telling your readers and followers that it does not even exist is a flat-out lie. Murphy immediately blocked us, because that is a more courageous way of dealing with dissent than admitting that you were wrong. And that being wrong made your point about the president a lie. A giant, irrefutable lie.
     Update: As commenters have pointed out, I got a few things wrong. It wasn't Joe Klein but Ezra Klein. It's Ana Marie Cox, not Ann Marie, and she's no longer writing Wonkette anyway.


Anonymous said...

Good work, Wonkette! Republican liars of all stripes need to be called out. Keep it up, babe. (And you are a babe!)

Anonymous said...

The chained CPI was in the Bowles–Simpson Commission report that came out in 2010. If Obama was really interested in that he has had three years to put it in place. He knows he can say anything to make the Republicans look bad knowing full well the Dems in the Senate aren't going to vote for it. If he is so strongly for it, lets see it in his 2014 budget, if he ever gets one together.

Anonymous said...

The quoted piece was written by Gary Legum. Ana (not Ann) Marie Cox was the founding editor of Wonkette but left in 2006, according to her Wikipedia page.

Anonymous said...

Some other blogger/writer wrote up a better summation of this event.

Essentially, Republicans talk all sorts of crap--"if Obama offered x, y, or z, then the Republicans would come to the table and offer some revenue concessions." When O offers these things, the Republicans then turn around and either lie and say he hasn't offered them or say those aren't enough (despite just saying they would be enough of a Dem compromise to muster the Rs to the table to discuss revenue increases).

What it boils down to is this--the Republicans are completely unwilling to do ANY revenue increases at this point. They demand that Obama and the Dems keep coming back with more and more compromises in exchange for the Republicans giving up N-O-T-H-I-N-G in the way of revenue increases.

It's complete b.s.--he could offer to abolish Title XVI completely, food stamps completely, etc. etc. and the Republicans would not offer one more cent of increased taxes. Eventually, they're going to be called out (so loudly that the idiot masses notice--they are already having their butts handed to them by the non-hack political writers of the world) for their true motives when people notice they wouldn't even compromise for the entire farm.

The Republican leadership is only concerned about protecting the property interests of the very wealthiest among us. Sure, some of them throw out red herrings of social issues (abortion, birth control, guns, welfare) to get idiot not-rich people on board, but the only shared, important goal is protecting the wealth of the wealthy. Period.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It was actually WaPo columnist Ezra Klein, not Joe Klein.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"he could offer to abolish Title XVI completely, food stamps completely,"

That would be a start. Spending has more than doubled since 1996. The problem is not revenue, it's spending.

2011 United States federal budget - $3.83 trillion (submitted 2010 by President Obama)

2010 United States federal budget - $3.55 trillion (submitted 2009 by President Obama)

2009 United States federal budget - $3.10 trillion (submitted 2008 by President Bush)

2008 United States federal budget - $2.90 trillion (submitted 2007 by President Bush)

2007 United States federal budget - $2.77 trillion (submitted 2006 by President Bush)

2006 United States federal budget - $2.7 trillion (submitted 2005 by President Bush)

2005 United States federal budget - $2.4 trillion (submitted 2004 by President Bush)

2004 United States federal budget - $2.3 trillion (submitted 2003 by President Bush)

2003 United States federal budget - $2.2 trillion (submitted 2002 by President Bush)

2002 United States federal budget - $2.0 trillion (submitted 2001 by President Bush)

2001 United States federal budget - $1.9 trillion (submitted 2000 by President Clinton)

2000 United States federal budget - $1.8 trillion (submitted 1999 by President Clinton)

1999 United States federal budget - $1.7 trillion (submitted 1998 by President Clinton)

1998 United States federal budget - $1.7 trillion (submitted 1997 by President Clinton)

1997 United States federal budget - $1.63 trillion (submitted 1996 by President Clinton)

1996 United States federal budget - $1.6 trillion (submitted 1995 by President Clinton)

Anonymous said...


you realize if government kept the same level of services its budget would increase proportionately with population, right?

population in 2000: 281,421,906
population in 2010: 308,745,538

that's a nearly 10% increase. Add on the $2.5 trillion from 2001-2011 (a conservative estimate) those two wars we are still fighting cost us during that time frame and the sharp increase in Medicare/SS benefits thanks to baby boomers, and the budget growth for all other reasons doesn't seem so big or scary.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, and I forgot about the increased social safety net costs that necessarily occur during recessions (like the one we had beginning in 2009--you remember that one, the biggest one since the Greatest of them all).

Budget deficits are not a good thing, but if you just take a deep breath we can get through this.

Realize that, assuming everything else stays the same, a nation will run deficits during recessions because tax revenues decrease because people make less (unemployed people, wages drop, etc.) and spending increases (more people need unemployment, food stamps, etc. when unemployment rises, duh).

On the other hand, States should run surpluses during growth periods (which we did before 2001).

A crucial thing to remember is that a nation state's budget/economy is nothing like a household one--to try and keep a state in the black during a recession makes absolutely no sense if you have any understanding of economics.