Setting the Story Straight on COLA

Over the past several days, I have read some articles about the fact that next year's Social Security benefit payments will not be increasing as they normally do to keep up with inflation. This is what is known as the cost of living adjustment (COLA). According to some politicians and advocates, with rising health care costs, seniors are getting the short end of the stick unless an increase is in order.

Then came the voice of reason from Chuck Blahous at the Hudson Institute. In his Washington Post piece from today, Mr. Blahous noted that this year, Social Security benefit checks increased 5.8 percent – the largest increa

se since 1982. When one considers the fact that the Consumer Price Index has dropped due to the recession and falling prices, benefit payments are keeping pace well above inflation. Furthermore, although Medicare Part B premiums increase as benefit checks increase, for most seniors, this will not be the case, due to a “hold harmless” provision. Bottom line: Seniors will be no worse off next year than they are this year; in fact, they will be better off.

But without a full understanding of how COLA works, many advocates and politicians will see this as a reason to increase benefit payments regardless of reality. This would mean growing an already massive unfunded liability in senior entitlement programs that would be passed on to younger workers. levitra south carolina Let's hope the voice of reason prevails.


Comments (4)

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  1. Karen Tuneberg says:

    Some days I wonder if anyone really knows what they are talking about when discussing Medicaire and state healthcare programs. I do not know how many letters i have but will keep going until i cant/ In 1996 after 40 years of active nursing and many hours of overtime ignoring a son to support us, and paying into soc. security all those years, on graduation from nursing school we knew our next committment and WE considered it a committment was to get enough quarters in to quality for SS. I did when i was 21 and have been paying since. It was a contract with the feds, and that is what we believed. That the govt would come through with its end of the committment regardless. Then after my insurance found out i was on disability, they dumped me, long story but using one of thier many tricks they dumped me. So i ended up on Medicaid. I just heard a radio talk show host say well we dont need to worry about those they have state programs to use. DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE STATE PROGRAMS GET THIER MONEY??? FROM US. when we did the income averaging when i went on disability just like when you quality for SS, mine came to 1700.00 a month said oh, can live on that, the lady laughed and said i am sure you could, we have a ceiling you will get 1200.00, i am stilll 13 years later only up to 1600.00. NOW, do you know where Medicaid gets thier money, i have a spendown of 936.00 a month for ma and 93.00 a month for medicaire, out of my disabiolty check, THAT is where THAT money comes from. I believe the feds have no idea how the states work with the federal money and regs. AT 65 i will be living on 650.00 a month. Period, unless things change from now. Boy if i knew how nasty MY comimitted carreer programs could be i would have spent more time wiht my son and less on salaries, and 12hr a day shifts. so i could get decent paychecks. Do you know they are even taking my two lousy 5000 life insurance policies for my grandsons. OR turning them over to a burial account which gets them out of their reg that if someone dies and has no one to pay for them the county has to bury them, NOW i can cash out mylife insurance policies and either give them to ma, or buy a burial policy, always thiniking but never for the persons side. In my state in the last two years to balance his wonderful budget, our govenor has closed down two waiver programs for people that did not quality for disability, shut down one facility for seriuosly ill patients and now is discussing closing a facility for such severely ill ssizure patients, that they cant’ even be managed in a nursing home, so now any ideas where they are supposed to go……..I am surprised no one has figured out that they write a reg that states if their is any family around, THEY must take care of their elder and not expect state support. after all in 1958 people WERE taking care of grandma and grandpa in thier homes, why not know, maybe because we have learned about dystunctional families and family abuse. But does the govt no, they keep sending 5 million dollars to africa to fight aids, when are we going to keep our money here and use it for our sick. Frankly i am almost hoping if i have to put up with all of this, when get really sick just let me go, no special treatment, no cpr just let me go, i wont mind in the world we are creating now, i dont’ want to be here.

  2. Don Buchanan says:

    I started working full time at 17 after graduating High School. I paid Social security all while I worked. I was shot up in Vietnam in 1970 and medically retired from the Army in January 1971. The Veterans Administration (government) rated me 100% disability. I applied for Social Security Disability and was turned down twice after MANY appeals by the same government that said I was %100. All that I had paid in is lost, which is stealing because I got nothing in return. By law, if the government takes something from you, it is supposed to recompensate you. So where is my compensation for my wages taken for “my” security???????

  3. AliW says:

    I have never understood COLAs, and believe me, it’s been explained well many times. Perhaps the problem is, the governmental agencies that calculate COLA figures don’t live in the same world the rest of us do. My parents are retired and on SS, and my Mother was telling me all the cost increases they would have to pay next year, and let me tell you, the person in WSJ who said that even though SS payments would not go up but seniors would come out ahead because prices are going down, needs to live on SS and try to pay his bills. Does anyone in DC actually live in the real world??!!

  4. Ivan Simmons says:

    Can’t live on $600 a month. Go to Thailand, Chiang Mail. A beautiful GH will cost you $250 a month (or cheaper), Free internet, Refrig, AC. You don’t need to own a car, and a pay as you go phone 12Call will cost you $20 a month after you buy the phone. Weather is great, except for 2 months of the year, the people are beautiful, it’s safe, and the FOOD IS GREAT AND CHEAP.