White House: changing inflation calculation a "technical change"

WASHINGTON Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:25pm EST

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WASHINGTON (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.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal, Jeff Mason)

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