Members of Oregon's Congressional Delegation are weighing in on President Obama's proposed budget -- specifically proposed changes to entitlements.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the FY 2014 budget, in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 10, 2013. Acting Director of Office of Management and Budget Jeffrey Zients accompanies the President.
Each year, the government calculates cost of living increases for programs like Social Security and Medicare.
The Consumer Price Index looks at changes in the price of items like breakfast cereal, computer software and college tuition.
But many economists say it doesn't accurately measure inflation because it doesn't take into account how consumers modify their spending habits when prices go up -- like deciding to buy one-ply toilet paper instead of the fluffy stuff.
So Obama's budget proposes adopting something called the "chained CPI" which would save the government billions of dollars.
But Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio says that would hurt those on fixed incomes who don't have any luxuries to give up.
"Basically, what they're saying is hey you can replace dog food with food you buy at the grocery store and you'll be fine," said DeFazio.
But Democratic Congressman Kurt Schrader supports the change saying it's essential to maintaining the long-term viability of Social Security and Medicare without making large cuts to benefits.
This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.