“Chained CPI” likely will get little comment from most print and broadcast media on Wednesday when President Barack Obama’s budget plan is formally announced, yet, if initiated, the new formula for the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) will negatively affect millions of older Americans receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, notes Grumpy Editor.
The traditional consumer price index (CPI), long used in calculating the annual COLA, would be replaced by “chained CPI” that reduces yearly expected benefit increases.
More than 60 million Americans receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments would be further squeezed while facing higher costs for utility, gasoline, food, health-medical and most other bills.
Recipients growled when this year’s COLA rose a modest 1.7 percent --- about half of last year’s 3.6 percent.
In switching to a lower “chained CPI,” the Obama administration's thinking is growth of entitlement programs would be slowed.
It assumes when prices of various items rise, consumers switch to cheaper substitutes, thus lower price tags.
AP scratches 'illegal' from Stylebook
The Associated Press now bans the term, “illegal immigrant.” In its updated Stylebook, followed by most news gatherers, AP mentions “use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person; illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant.”
So what is an acceptable variation?
AP cites “living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.” Except in direct quotations, AP adds, “do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or undocumented.”
News folks who consult dictionaries may become confused. Among definitions for illegal in one dictionary: “A person who has entered or attempted to enter a country illegally.”
What’s Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano think about AP’s identification adjustment? She tells reporters she didn’t “really get caught up in the vocabulary wars.”
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