The CPI is manipulated by the government to keep it artificially low because what it pays out to the population is based on it.
I don't care if you want to argue if inflation is a tax or not, but tin-foil hat conspiracy theories like this? You're better than that. :)
. I guess I'm way better than that given that I typed that entry off the top of my tin foil covered hat and it happens to be almost plagerism of this Forbes article. If You Want To Know The Real Rate Of Inflation, Don't Bother With The CPI
Common sense tells us the Consumer Price Index is not an adequate measure of inflation. For the second year in a row the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) remained under 2 percent. On average, consumer prices increased 1.5 percent, according to the government. However, the government has incentives to keep this statistic as low as possible. In fact, the CPI doesn’t even measure inflation, rather a range of consumer spending behaviors. The CPI is perhaps one of the most important government statistics because it affects a number of public programs and is used as a benchmark to set public policy. But it’s accuracy is questionable, especially when compared with other agency’s inflation measures.
Why does the government want low inflation numbers?
The CPI is tied to the incomes of about 80 million Americans, specifically: Social Security beneficiaries, food stamp recipients, military and federal Civil Service retirees and survivors, and children on school lunch programs. The higher the CPI, the more money the government needs to spend on these income payments to keep pace with the cost of living. However, this same government is about $17 trillion in debt. If the CPI is low, the less money the government needs to spend on cost of living adjustments, something seniors are astutely aware of.
The government has a few resources at its disposal to manipulate the CPI. First, the Bureau of Labor Statistics operates under a veil of secrecy. The raw data used to calculate the CPI is not available to the public. When I asked why, I was told “so companies can’t compare prices.” This makes very little sense because companies can easily compare prices with data openly available on the internet. It also makes it impossible to audit their findings. Additionally, over the past 30 years, the government has changed the way it calculates inflation more than 20 times. These ‘methodological improvements’ to the CPI are said to give a more accurate measure of consumer prices. However, these changes could also be a convenient way to include or exclude certain products that give favorably low results, but there’s no way to know, given the lack of transparency. http://www.forbes.com/sites/perianneboring/2014/02/03/if-you-want-to-know-the-real-rate-of-inflation-dont-bother-with-the-cpi/
bottom line> the government reported CPI inflation number has only a small basis in reality. I'm I00% sure the government doesn't have 25,000 NSA workers spying on us all, because that's what the agency director said. Whatever number you pick or whether ones sees it as a tax or not is a pretty moot point. The point is that it is relentless and damn hard to work around.