Top Links: The chained CPI debate and the Obama budget’s last dig at Romney

Updated
President Barack Obama's proposed budget plan, available on iPad.
President Barack Obama's proposed budget plan, available on iPad.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Top story: There are a lot of numbers in the newly released White House budget. A lot. But let’s focus on the most contentious one.

  • Let’s start with “chained CPI,” a term you’re going to hear a lot. It’s a new, lower way to adjust Society Security benefits for inflation (versus regular ol’ CPI). The Obama budget says the new measure saves $130 billion over 10 years. (The Associated Press)
  • Democrats are “ready to mount the barricades over Obama’s alleged betrayal on Social Security.” Which is the point. It’s a gesture to Republicans that he’s ready, in the words of Speaker John Boehner, to “get serious.” (The Daily Beast)
  • In fact, The National Organization for Women lashed out at President Obama’s concession over chained CPI, saying it will hurt women more because they live longer and historically have lower incomes than men. (National Organization for Women)
  • Yet, some conservatives smell a Trojan horse: “Chained CPI is a very large tax hike over time. Hence Democrat interest in same.” (Grover Norquist)
  • And, yes, that’s true: the chained CPI would also raise tax revenues by about $100 billion. (Politico)
  • Interestingly Peter Orszag, Obama’s first director of the Office of Management and Budget (which puts together these budgets), says “ the impact of switching indexes may not be as great as many assume. The change may still be a good idea, but it probably won’t matter as much as expected.” (Peter Orszag)
  • And on an unrelated note—The White House budget even hits Mitt Romney where it hurts: Ending “a loophole that lets wealthy individuals circumvent contribution limits and a cumulate in tax-preferred retirement accounts.” (Talking Points Memo)

Top Links: The chained CPI debate and the Obama budget’s last dig at Romney

Updated