Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich on Tuesday night criticized President Barack Obama for agreeing to adjust the measure of inflation for safety net programs like Social Security.
During an appearance on Current TV, Reich said the President was “chipping away at Social Security and Medicare by fiddling with the formula for inflation” amid the ongoing budget negotiations. The proposed changes to the measure of inflation — called “chained CPI” — would lead to smaller cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries.
“The way the inflation index was developed, if for example one year the price of food went up by five percent then the cost-of-living would go up in terms of what you would get as a retiree,” he explained. “But what this new formula would do is it would assume that you as a retiree if food prices went up or if a certain kind of food went up you would substitute something else. That is, if chicken went up you would substitute a cheaper kind of food.”
Reich said chained CPI would result in a decline of living standards for the elderly.
Rather than chipping away at Social Security, he said the President should push for additional cuts to defense spending.
“There’s absolutely no reason, except for the power of defense contractors, why we have to have such a huge amount of defense spending in this country.”
Watch video, courtesy of Current TV, below: