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."