Over time the US government has changed its approach to reporting the Consumer Price Index, which is meant to be a measure of the impacts of inflation on the consumer over time. Interestingly (but not suprisingly) the government has modified its measurement formula over time to under report the real ravages of inflation on the consumer. Take for the example the chart below from shadowstats.com. It illustrates the difference in reported CPI (inflation rates) using the more realistic formula that was used in 1980 compared to the grossly under reported stats the government is using today. This is an obvious attempt by the government to move the CPI away from being a measure of the cost of living needed to maintain a constant standard of living.