CPAC 2013 | CPAC

Today begins the 2012 CPAC…….check out the program… is mostly sideshows not many serious contenders for party leadership…….


CPAC 2013 | CPAC.

Is Rubio For Real?

2013 CPAC begins today and I will watch the doings to see who will be building their props for a national run……..

Marco Rubio is everywhere!  Fox News, SOTU response, letter against Hagel, everywhere….a lead man on immigration ………….it is as if they are trying to set him up for a presidential run in 2016……remember Jindal, his first appearance was a disaster…….Mr. Vaginal Probe of Virginia was a disaster……..hopefully the GOP is using their heads in this not so subtle attempt to make Rubio a candidate…….

But is he for real?

Hydration issues notwithstanding, Marco Rubio is in a strong position in terms of the 2016 presidential race, writes Nate Silver in the New York Times. Rubio is “reliably conservative,” which would help him in the primaries, and his favorability ratings are solid, which would help him in the general election. (Silver knows it’s early to be worried about primary season, but he notes that the “invisible primary,” in which candidates woo party insiders, is already under way.) Rubio’s challenge will be to maintain his popularity as voters learn more about him and realize his positions are pretty much the same as those of his Republican rivals. (His support of immigration reform is an exception to the rule.) Great political talents, such as Reagan and Obama, have “the ability to sell ideas to voters across a wide range of the political spectrum,” writes Silver. It’s too soon to know whether Rubio is in their league, but his White House prospects hinge on the answer. Click for Silver’s full column.

We will see who buys this ad campaign.  Thoughts?

What The Hell Is ‘Chained CPI’?

Two days left before the sequestration kicks in…two days left of endless accusations….two days left of the tragedy that is our Congress……..the drama continues and with every drama we have had our buzz words….remember ‘death panels’?  Or maybe fiscal cliff?  And the ever popular…..’Obamacare”………and now we have a new one….’chained CPI’………but what the Hell are these people talking about?

The National Journal has a good explanation……..

“Chained CPI,” writes Quinton, “is an idea that almost everyone supports in theory but hardly anyone is willing to risk in practice.”

Chained CPI is a measure of inflation created by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that has been touted as a more accurate way to factor rises in the cost-of-living into, among other things, social security benefits and the tax code. Chained CPI doesn’t rise as quickly as the measure of inflation that the government uses now, so if the government switched to chained CPI to calculate social security benefits, benefits would increase more slowly over time. Similarly, if chained CPI was applied to the tax code, tax brackets would change at a slower rate, moving tax-payers into higher brackets faster.

Chained CPI rises slower than the measure of inflation that the government currently uses by making different assumptions about how people spend money. Chained CPI hinges on the idea that when the price of one good rises, people are more likely to buy a similar, cheaper good. Or, as a former staffer for President Obama’s fiscal commission told NPR, when the price of apples goes up, maybe you’ll buy oranges or bananas instead. The current measure of inflation assumes that you’ll just keep on buying apples, raising your cost-of-living faster.

What chained CPI does here is “chain” together groups of goods. This change could save $200-300 billion over the next decade by slowing the growth in cost-of-living adjustments, trimming social security benefits and increasing taxes.

So, why the controversy? Many Democrats have scoffed at the social security benefit hit that comes with chained CPI — especially to older seniors who rely most on the social security income. Also, it isn’t always as simple as chaining apples and oranges, especially when broader necessities like medical care and heating come into play. There are also of course ways of making chained CPI less severe to the social security benefits of needy seniors. Sophie Quinton points out that the Simpson-Bowles plan, among others, features such protections.

There you have it….now when the mouths start rattling on and on…… will hgave an idea on what the Hell the blowhards are talking about…..and with luck uyour ears will not bleed.