No COLA again for Social Security recepients

As if voters don’t have enough to be angry about this election year, the government is expected to announce this week that more than 58 million Social Security recipients will go through another year without an increase in their monthly benefits.

It would mark only the second year without an increase since automatic adjustments for inflation were adopted in 1975. The first year was this year.

“If you’re the ruling party, this is not the sort of thing you want to have happening two weeks before an election,” said Andrew Biggs, a former deputy commissioner at the Social Security Administration and now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

“It’s not the congressional Democrats’ fault, but that’s the way politics works,” Biggs said. “A lot of people will feel hostile about it.”

The cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs, are automatically set each year by an inflation measure that was adopted by Congress back in the 1970s. Based on inflation so far this year, the trustees who oversee Social Security project there will be no COLA for 2011.

The projection will be made official on Friday, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases inflation estimates for September. The timing couldn’t be worse for Democrats as they approach an election in which they are in danger of losing their House majority, and possibly their Senate majority as well.

This past Friday, the same bureau delivered another painful blow to Democrats: The U.S. lost 95,000 jobs in September and unemployment remained stubbornly stuck at 9.6 percent.

Democrats have been working hard to make Social Security an election-year issue, running political ads and holding press conferences to accuse Republicans of plotting to privatize the national retirement program.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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5 Responses to "No COLA again for Social Security recepients"

  1. etee  October 10, 2010 at 9:25 am

    A Marine Engineer, I am curently on S.S. at 62 due to Obama’s Offshore Drilling Moratorium. It is quite impossible to get a job when the President shuts down you’re entire industry. In closely watching the food prices over this past year, don’t even attempt to insinuate that there is no inflation. I cannot WAIT until November 2nd.

    • woody188  October 11, 2010 at 10:01 pm

      Gotta love that “core” inflation where they strip out food and energy costs. I guess there is always food stamps. You’d be in good company with the other 42 million on them already.

  2. paulb  October 11, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Never ceases to amaze me, no cola for social security and big raises for federal,state and local employees. This must change, we are the ones paying for everyone and receiving the least. Vote all incumbents out of office, democrat and republican as neither party is anything other then self serving and only concerned with their benefits and retirement plans as their entitlement. End the insanity.

  3. Mightymo  October 13, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Some people are never happy, and in this case they’re probably the same people that always gripe about social policies and issues.

    Fact of the matter is that COLA is based on CPI which is based on consumer goods including among others fuel, food, housing, medicine, and education. Instead of looking at the lack of a COLA increase as bad, maybe a more positive attitude related to an overall economy without inflation as beneficial.

    Of course I realize that times are hard and that often it’s hard to see the positive, but for many they are out there. I say it could have been far, far worse for all of us had we entered into a much worse depression or recession which was averted by the actions of both bush and Obama.

    When times are good, no one wants to support payment to SS because, “it’s my money and I’ll do with it as I want”. But now that we are on it, it’s “give me more than the economy justifies”.

    Then to sit here and say that I can’t wait until Nov 24 like the entire economic problem was never here before this administration is idiotic at best. We wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for prior politicians no matter what party they are from.

    Besides, I think there is more personal blame than anything. I’m an uneducated minion and I’m doing well. I also have plenty of savings and think that by age 62 I should be in a pretty good position. By that time I don’t even think I’ll need to work. Strangely, it’s the “other” parties that are less willing to support SS or even the business philosophy of employers being responsible for their employees so once again I think the gripe is misguided!

    More people lost their retirement funds due to failed investment and company thievery during the 2000’s than ever before! It wasn’t Obama that did that, it was corporate greed, silly personal investing (if investing at all), and government support for more money at the expense of citizens, and guess which party openly supports that agenda. Ya, you just sit there and wait for Nov 24 and then run and make an ignorant vote!!
    Actually, I think this is just another great argument in support of a flat tax. Fact is that with our ignorant and unfair system, for millions of people the only thing that a COLA increase will do is raise them into another tax bracket and a higher tax payment. At least a flat tax would be fair for all.

  4. Noreen LaVallo  October 20, 2010 at 9:33 am

    The CPI does NOT INCLUDE fuel, food, housing, medicine, and education in their estimates, that is why costs are up. I think those of us on SS can see that these numbers are fake.

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