DURST: Overstating the Inflation Rate

An independent commission appointed by Congress, which implies millionaire nephews with portfolios thicker than the Manhattan White Pages printed on bleached barn wood, reported that the government is overstating the inflation rate, and proposes to change the formula used to arrive at the Consumer Price Index. This will result in smaller CPI increases in Social Security payments along with other retirement and benefit programs, as well as raise taxes by the reduction of annual inflation increases in standard deductions and personal exemptions.Reagan did the same thing in 1983 when he changed the unemployment equation. One minute people were unemployed, the next they were removed from the list and referred to as unemployable, which to a guy from Milwaukee could only mean they had suddenly become very skinny dead people.In the private sector this activity is known as creative bookkeeping and can be rewarded with long stretches of quiet time in federal institutions where those perfume swatches in magazines are worth a lot of money. The good thing is this precedent frees us individuals to imaginatively futz with our own budgets including the reporting of tax expenses. For instance, that dinner at McDonald's was really "franchise investment research." As for dependents, declare nine, that's how many kids you would have had if it you didn't have to work so damn hard to hang on to every buck. And six and six make thirteen, and now you can cite the government figures to prove it.Will Durst was always good with numbers.

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