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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hell freezes over: Grover Norquist to the left of Obama on chained CPI

Huffington Post: Members of Congress who have pledged never to raise taxes will be breaking their promise if they support changing how the government measures inflation for Social Security and tax purposes.

President Barack Obama unveiled a budget proposal on Wednesday morning that would switch tax brackets and Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, which are indexed for inflation, from the current version of the Consumer Price Index to a “chained CPI,” which says inflation rises more slowly. The change would reduce future benefit increases and push more taxpayers into higher brackets, a phenomenon known as “bracket creep.”

Americans for Tax Reform, the advocacy group that asks lawmakers to sign a formal “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” said Tuesday that chained CPI violates the pledge.

“Chained CPI as a stand-alone measure (that is, not paired with tax relief of equal or greater size) is a tax increase and a Taxpayer Protection Pledge violation,” the group said in a blog post.
OK, so Grover’s not exactly turning all liberal and he’s not really going left. “Chained CPI is a very large tax hike over time,” Norquist tweeted. “Hence Democrat interest in same.”

But the effect is the same. If Norquist didn’t mean to run to Obama’s left, it doesn’t mean he didn’t wind up there regardless. Norquist has lost some influence post-2012, but he still has influence and there are still a lot of Republicans who’ll march to his beat. Once again, we see a conservative bailing out liberals by rejecting Obama’s Social Security sell out.

Keep it up, guys. We’re counting on you to protect Social Security — because we sure as hell can’t count on the White House.

[photo by Gage Skidmore]

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