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Unformatted text preview: "GOVERNMENT ECONOMIC REPORTS: THINGS YOU'VE SUSPECTED BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK!" A Series Authored by Walter J. "John" Williams "The Consumer Price Index" (Part Four in a Series of Five) October 1, 2006 Update (September 22, 2004 Original) Taken from www.shadowstats.com _____ Foreword This installment has been updated from the original 2004 version to incorporate additional research on earlier changes to the CPI. The source for most of the information in this installment is the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which generally has been very open about its methodologies and changes to same. The BLS Web site: www.bls.gov contains descriptions of the CPI and its related methodologies. Other sources include my own analyses of the CPI data and methodological changes over the last 30 years as well as interviews with individuals involved in inflation reporting. ______ Payments to Social Security Recipients Should be Double Current Levels Inflation, as reported by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is understated by roughly 7% per year. This is due to recent redefinitions of the series as well as to flawed methodologies, particularly adjustments to price measures for quality changes. The concentration of this installment on the quality of government economic reports will be first on CPI series redefinition and the damages done to those dependent on accurate cost-of-living estimates, and on pending further redefinition and economic damage. The CPI was designed to help businesses, individuals and the government adjust their financial planning and considerations for the impact of inflation. The CPI worked reasonably well for those purposes into the early-1980s. In recent decades, however, the reporting system increasingly succumbed to pressures from miscreant politicians, who were and are intent upon stealing income from social security recipients, without ever taking the issue of reduced entitlement payments before the public or Congress for approval. In particular, changes made in CPI methodology during the Clinton Administration understated inflation significantly, and, through a cumulative effect with earlier changes that began in the late-Carter and early Reagan Administrations have reduced current social security payments by roughly half from where they would have been otherwise. That means Social Security checks today would be about double had the various changes not been made. In like manner, anyone involved in commerce, who relies on receiving payments adjusted for the CPI, has been similarly damaged. On the other side, if you are making payments based on the CPI (i.e., the federal government), you are making out On the other side, if you are making payments based on the CPI (i....
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