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Ramesh Ponnuru

How to Protect Social Security and Keep It Solvent

We shouldn't index tax brackets or cost-of-living adjustments to the chained CPI.
Look out for them.

Look out for them.

Photographer: Michele Eve Sandberg/Corbis News/Getty Images

A technical change in the Republican tax bills adds up to a significant tax increase over time. The legislation would change the way tax brackets are adjusted for inflation each year. The new measure of inflation, called the chained CPI, would be less generous than the old one. As a result, each year slightly more people would move into higher tax brackets than under the current measure.

The Tax Policy Center estimates that this shift would bring in $125 billion in extra revenue over the next decade — which helps Republicans reach their goal of cutting taxes by no more than $1.5 trillion.