White House: changing inflation calculation a 'technical change'

WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (Reuters) - The White House said on

Tuesday that a proposal to change inflation adjustments to

Social Security benefits would affect other government programs

that use the government's Consumer Price Index as an inflation

gauge.

The proposal was part of an effort by President Barack Obama

to compromise on deficit reduction issues in the ongoing "fiscal

cliff" talks, spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

But he characterized the change, requested by Republicans,

as "technical," and said a clause in Obama's fiscal cliff plan

would protect the elderly and other vulnerable groups from harsh

adjustments to Social Security benefit payments.

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