Social Security COLA: Congress Gets Pay Raise, Seniors & Others Did Not
by Daniel T. Zanoza, Executive Director
I'm sure many senior citizens, handicapped and those who are temporarily disabled noticed their Social Security check did not include a Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2010. In fact, it is possible Social Security recipients will not receive a COLA for up to three years, according to reports out of Washington, D.C.
This is the first year a COLA increase has not been afforded to Social Security recipients for over 30 years.
For those of you who have parents or grandparents who were surprised to learn they will have to live on the same amount of money per month in 2010 that they did in 2009, they shouldn't have been. The Social Security Administration announced last year there would be no cost of living adjustment in 2010.
All Social Security recipients receive a statement of benefits in late December every year. This is the information regarding this year's benefits which was sent to all recipients.
"By law, Social Security benefits increase automatically to keep pace with inflation. when there is no period of inflation, the law does not permit an increase in benefits. Based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) published by the Department of Labor, there was no rise in the cost of living during the past year, so your benefit will remain the same in 2010. The CPI is the federal government's official measure to calculate cost-of-living increases."
The first thing that comes to my mind is: How can the Dept. of Labor predict whether inflation will impact our economy three years into the future? It is a ridiculous premise. But there will be those who will defend the Consumer Price Index as factual. The truth of the matter is, President Barack Obama, to offset his historical spending of tax dollars, has decided to take it out on the middle-class and poor.
There has been inflation during the last year. Everyone is experiencing this at the gas pump, many seniors who live in assisted living facilities have their rent go up every year, many other seniors live in manufactured homes where lot rentals go up every year, property taxes frequently go up, home heating costs are rising, grocery prices have gone threw the roof, etc., etc.
The formula the Dept. of Labor uses must be a type of new math. It's absurd. Indeed, if Obama's political agenda--which includes the passage of Cap and Trade, comprehensive immigration reform and card check--would be passed by Congress and signed into law, many economists believe America will spiral into hyperinflation.
From the beginning of his administration, it is clear Obama has targeted senior citizens. The recent health care reform bill--which was an eyelash away from being passed into law--included a $500 billion hit on Social Security. Yes, Mr. Obama promised seniors and others who have put money into the Social Security system for many years a paltry, one-time only $250 payment. But even this pledge seems to have been forgotten. Yet hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus money has gone to museums and other pork projects, mostly targeted for districts that voted Democratic in the 2008 election. This is a tragic farce.
However, members of Congress did receive a pay increase in 2009 and they will again in 2010. How come Congress received a pay raise? They voted themselves one.
You see, it appears Obama and many members of Congress have adopted Margaret Sanger's philosophy which states "more from the fit and less from the unfit". For those of you who are not familiar with Sanger, in the early 20th century, she founded Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider. Sanger also liked the idea of eugenics which was twisted into what became Hitler's Final solution. Senior citizens, the mentally and physically handicapped and those who are temporarily disabled would certainly fit into this category, wouldn't they?
So, it appears those who receive Social Security don't count in Obama's political playbook, but they should. Seniors make up a huge voting bloc. They have mostly voted Democratic in recent years. However, as in current trends, this, too, will change.
What I find interesting is the Democratic Party seems hell bent on committing political suicide. And that's just fine with me.
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