Since the House Republicans have taken America's families hostage in the government shutdown, it's starting to become clear what the end game is: cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits for everyday people in a "grand bargain" that's not so grand for the 99%.
Here are six cuts to look out for:
1. Cutting the Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) by moving to "chained" CPI . Under chained CPI, someone retiring at age 65 would lose nearly $5,000 in Social Security benefits by age 75. By age 85, that person would lose almost $14,000. If he or she lived until 95, the loss would be more than $28,000.
2. Cutting Social Security benefits for middle- and higher-income retirees. What do some in Congress consider "middle income?" Well, $35,000 for starters .
3. Increasing Medicare income-related premiums (sometimes called "means testing"). People with retirement income starting at $47,000 a year would be forced to pay more out of pocket.
4. Increasing out-of-pocket health care costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Seniors receiving Medicare benefits already spend 14.7% of their household income on health-related expenses .
6. Making people wait until age 67 to receive Medicare. People who are 65 and 66 would lose Medicare coverage under this change and would, on average, face higher out-of-pocket health care costs . Two-thirds of this group—3.3 million people—would face an average of $2,200 more each year in premiums and cost-sharing charges.
What do we say to any proposal that cuts Social Security and Medicare benefits? "Nope."