Social Security COLAs Frozen for 2 Years

For the first time in a generation, millions of older people are reportedly facing shrinking Social Security checks next year.

For the first time since automatic increases were adopted in 1975, trustees overseeing Social Security are estimating that there won’t be a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for the next two years. With rising costs of health care and everything else, millions of seniors rely on the Social Security COLAs.

Even with a 5.8 percent COLA in 2009, retirees on Social Security received very little compared to the raise Congress gave itself at the beginning of the year. The raise Congress gave itself pales even more in comparison when you figure that Congress also decided to give each one of themselves almost $6.9 million to spend on ‘expenses.’ There is something majorly wrong with this picture.

Law prevents Social Security benefits from going down, but the monthly payments for millions of people in the Medicare prescription drug program would drop because premiums, which are oftentimes deducted from Social Security payments, are scheduled to rise slightly.

Despite the fact that COLAs are pegged to inflation — which has been negative this year — seniors spend a disproportionate amount of their limited income on healthcare, the costs of which continue rising with no end in sight. As with everyone else, seniors are also stuck with declining home values and stock portfolios that have shrunk drastically after Wall Street’s defrauding of America.

Medicare Premiums Expected to Rise

According to the report, almost 50 million retired and disabled Americans receive Social Security benefits, averaging $1,153 per month this year. The 5.8 percent increase earlier this year was the largest since 1982. That increase raised the average a little over $66 dollars to almost $1,220. Compare that to the automatic raise and ‘expense’ account Congress voted to give itself and you can see how skewered the system really is.

Average monthly premiums for the more than 32 million people in the Medicare prescription drug program are scheduled to go from $28 this year to $30 next year, although they vary depending on the program.

Social Security Administration figures reveal that about 6 million people in the Medicare prescription drug program have premiums deducted from their monthly Social Security payments.

Premiums are also expected to rise for the millions of people who have Medicare Part B coverage that also have their premiums deducted from their Social Security payments. According to the report, by law, the increase cannot be larger than the increase in Social Security benefits for most Medicare Part B recipients.

There are no such provisions for recipients of the Medicare prescription drug program.

It’s Time to Fix the Social Security Problem

The Social Security system is facing long-term financial problems (PDF). Many in Washington, including some of those dubious ‘think tanks’ that have created one disaster after another for this country have proposed that the Federal government loot Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That won’t solve the problem. It’ll only make it worse.

Many in Washington plan to quietly — behind closed doors — gut Social Security by misappropriating trillions of dollars, essentially swindling Americans out of more of their hard earned retirement plans under the guise of ‘fiscal reform.’ What it would amount to is nothing more than more fraud perpetrated upon working Americans.

Don’t be afraid of all the scary propaganda being pushed by politicians. It’s time to fix the Social Security problem, but in order to do that, you have to fix the culture of corruption that has permeated Washington for the past several decades. Until you remove ALL of the criminals in Washington, there will be no change, and nothing will get better.

It’s inexcusable that Congress continues getting high increases every year. It’s even worse when you realize that Congress gave itself almost $4 billion for their ‘expenses’ that are paid by taxpayers this year. If Congress can’t take care of the people that put them there, then the people need to replace them. How much more of the corruption that has ruined millions of lives will the people put up with before doing something about it? We’ve paid a high enough price already. There is little difference between Republicans and Democrats. America’s two-party political system is broken and needs to be replaced.

The COLAs received by Social Security recipients is a joke compared to the compensation the criminal regime in Washington receives for destroying this country. More on the planned looting of Social Security can be found in this article from The Nation. More information on Social Security can be found from The Social Security Administration and more information on trying to preserve Social Security can be found from The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

It’s time to remove the culture of corruption in Washington and it’s time to end the growing poverty and despair that has plaqued America for too many decades. The Federal Government’s illegal power grabs and intentional raping of the American people has gone on long enough and the American people need to do something about it.

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