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Will Obama cave on Social Security?

A top official at the nation’s largest union federation slammed a Social Security cut proposal that’s been floated by President Obama, but stopped short of calling it a deal-breaker in the next round of budget wars.

“We remain strongly opposed” to chained CPI, AFL-CIO government affairs director Bill Samuel told Salon. “It’s a very substantial benefit cut.”

“Chained CPI” is a proposed alternative method of calculating cost of living adjustments, which would reduce future increases in Social Security benefits. Samuel said that for many seniors on fixed incomes, even “the current system may not be adequate.” He called the claim that chained CPI could be implemented in a way that would be fair to such retirees “sort of ludicrous.”

Obama has repeatedly touted chained CPI as an aspect of a potential “Grand Bargain” with Republicans to reduce the deficit. In a “Meet the Press” interview aired on Dec. 30, the president highlighted it both as an example of his willingness to make concessions to the GOP and part of his “pursuit of strengthening Social Security for the long-term.”

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