Regarding Tom Keane’s defense of the so-called chained Consumer Price Index (“Touching the third rail,” Op-ed, April 21): There are many items and expenses that are not included in the “basket of goods” the CPI is based upon. Even conceding that people may purchase cheaper alternatives when prices rise, this cannot go on indefinitely, as a recent letter writer pointed out. Beyond that, however, what about all of the things that have increased at a rate far greater than inflation over the years, such as the cost of health care, health insurance, and college tuition, for which there may not be less expensive alternatives?
How is it that business profits increase, executive compensation skyrockets, taxes have been cut over and over in various forms, especially for the wealthy business and investor class, but cutting cost-of-living increases for seniors is the answer to our budget problems?
How is it that we accept that those of us who have paid into Social Security all of our working lives, including increased payroll taxes since the 1980s, now should pay the price? Do people think that we won’t respond with: “You can pry our Social Security checks out of our cold, dead hands”?