Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Into Mid 2022 - 4th Dec 21
INVESTING LESSON - Give your Portfolio Some Breathing Space - 4th Dec 21
Don’t Get Yourself Into a Bull Trap With Gold - 4th Dec 21
GOLD HAS LOTS OF POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE - 4th Dec 21
4 Tips To Help You Take Better Care Of Your Personal Finances- 4th Dec 21
What Is A Golden Cross Pattern In Trading? - 4th Dec 21
Bitcoin Price TRIGGER for Accumulating Into Alt Coins for 2022 Price Explosion - Part 2 - 3rd Dec 21
Stock Market Major Turning Point Taking Place - 3rd Dec 21
The Masters of the Universe and Gold - 3rd Dec 21
This simple Stock Market mindset shift could help you make millions - 3rd Dec 21
Will the Glasgow Summit (COP26) Affect Energy Prices? - 3rd Dec 21
Peloton 35% CRASH a Lesson of What Happens When One Over Pays for a Loss Making Growth Stock - 1st Dec 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: I Fear For Retirees For The Next 20 Years - 1st Dec 21 t
Will the Anointed Finanical Experts Get It Wrong Again? - 1st Dec 21
Main Differences Between the UK and Canadian Gaming Markets - 1st Dec 21
Bitcoin Price TRIGGER for Accumulating Into Alt Coins for 2022 Price Explosion - 30th Nov 21
Omicron Covid Wave 4 Impact on Financial Markets - 30th Nov 21
Can You Hear It? That’s the Crowd Booing Gold’s Downturn - 30th Nov 21
Economic and Market Impacts of Omicron Strain Covid 4th Wave - 30th Nov 21
Stock Market Historical Trends Suggest A Strengthening Bullish Trend In December - 30th Nov 21
Crypto Market Analysis: What Trading Will Look Like in 2022 for Novice and Veteran Traders? - 30th Nov 21
Best Stocks for Investing to Profit form the Metaverse and Get Rich - 29th Nov 21
Should You Invest In Real Estate In 2021? - 29th Nov 21
Silver Long-term Trend Analysis - 28th Nov 21
Silver Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 28th Nov 21
Crude Oil Didn’t Like Thanksgiving Turkey This Year - 28th Nov 21
Sheffield First Snow Winter 2021 - Snowballs and Snowmen Fun - 28th Nov 21
Stock Market Investing LESSON - Buying Value - 27th Nov 21
Corsair MP600 NVME M.2 SSD 66% Performance Loss After 6 Months of Use - Benchmark Tests - 27th Nov 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

U.S. Inflation Sick Minds

Politics / Inflation Jun 24, 2011 - 02:38 AM GMT

By: Fred_Sheehan

Politics

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES - June 22, 2011 - "Lawmakers are considering changing how the Consumer Price Index is calculated, a move that could save perhaps $220 billion and represent significant progress in the ongoing federal debt ceiling and deficit reduction talks.

"According to congressional aides familiar with the discussions, the proposal would shift how the Consumer Price Index is calculated to reflect how people tend to change spending patterns when prices increase. For example, consumers tend to drive less when gas prices increase dramatically.


"Such a move is widely seen by economists as resulting in a slower rise in inflation. That would impact an array of federal programs that are linked to CPI including the Social Security program and income tax brackets set by the federal government."

Social Security payments must be reduced. Promises were made - by lawmakers - that are beyond the government's (the taxpayer's) ability to pay. The latest scheme is a ploy by cowardly elected representatives who surreptitiously cut benefits for those most in need: the old and the frail.

First, the logic is indefensible: Gasoline prices rise; higher prices are unaffordable; people drive less; less gasoline is consumed; the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reduces the weighting of gasoline in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) calculation; this cuts gasoline's (and, other products that are rising in price) influence on the CPI; the Consumer Price Index falls. Ergo, Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, in a future and "dreary" press conference (the adjective used by the Wall Street Journal to describe his session with reporters on June 22, 2011), states that inflation is falling.

Second, as mentioned above, this is hidden from public view. The official, government CPI which is used to increase Social Security benefits (e.g., if the CPI rises by 2.0%, next year's Social Security checks go up 2.0%), will understate costs, reduce the ability to buy gas further, which will reduce gasoline's proportion in the CPI even more.

By the way, this also reduces the inflation credited to owners of TIPS, or TIIS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities). The change reduces the value of TIPS.

It would be interesting to know if the amount spent on gasoline actually falls. The amount of gas (in gallons) might be less, but the increase in price could mean the dollars spent are proportionately greater to total costs. You can be sure the BLS has devised a method that has eliminated the possibility, which leads to:

Third, this latest scam is part of a long-running ploy to reduce Social Security benefits without inconveniencing politicians. Chapter 12 of Panderer to Power: The Untold Story of How Alan Greenspan Enriched Wall Street and Left a Legacy of Recession is the history of Social Security and inflation manipulations between 1983 and the mid-1990s. From Alan Greenspan's 1983 Social Security Commission through Michael Boskin's contorted changes to the CPI measurement (1995), Social Security payments have already been reduced well below what they should be. One estimate, by Richard Karn, author of Emerging Trends Report, calculates that Social Security checks would have been 43% higher by 2006 if not for the chicanery of the scandalous Boskin Commission, a decade before.

Fourth, this latest effort shows the talk about reducing the deficit, cutting spending, and reaching an agreement on the debt ceiling is exactly that - talk. (As if you needed to be told.) Lawmakers may pat themselves on the back for this gift from the BLS, but a $220 billion spending cut is a drop in the ocean (and, probably a projection over the next 20 or 50 years). Social Security needs to be addressed by increasing, and by a substantial amount, the age at which retirement benefits can first be collected. Starving the old and the frail is not only a sick policy, it is also camouflage to win the next election.

By Frederick Sheehan

See his blog at www.aucontrarian.com

Frederick Sheehan is the author of Panderer to Power: The Untold Story of How Alan Greenspan Enriched Wall Street and Left a Legacy of Recession (McGraw-Hill, November 2009).

© 2011 Copyright Frederick Sheehan - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in