AARP CEO A. Barry Rand said during a speech today at the National Press Club that he's no fan of the "chained CPI" -- the alternate measure of inflation that would give Social Security recipients smaller cost-of-living adjustments and that is always standing in the corner of the room with a lampshade on its head, hoping nobody notices it.
Rand called it "one of the worst" things Congress could do to Social Security.
During a Q&A after the speech, I asked Rand and other AARP honchos if they still hate chained CPI even if it's paired with extra money for older retirees and poorer ones. That’s what the White House has been interested in, and that’s what Simpson-Bowles wanted, after all.
“We think there are better ways to talk about Social Security than chained CPI,” AARP’s Debra Whitman. “We think it should be done more comprehensively.”
So, they’re very against it, but not interested in saying flat-out they’d never go along if it were part of a broader reform bill that includes things they might like, such as an increase in the taxable wage base. See you next time, chained CPI.