Commentaries, Global Warming, Opinions   Cover   •   Commentary   •   Books & Reviews   •   Climate Change   •   Site Links   •   Feedback
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
WEBCommentary Guest
Author:  Tony Phyrillas
Bio: Tony Phyrillas
Date:  October 17, 2007
Print article - Printer friendly version

Email article link to friend(s) - Email a link to this article to friends

Facebook - Facebook

Topic category:  Other/General

Democrats will inherit Social Security mess they helped create

President Bush tried to reform Social Security a couple of years ago, but was rebuffed by the Democrats in Congress, who scared the bejesus out of senior citizens (even though Bush's plan would not have touched benefits for anyone currently retired.)

The federal government has announced that the nation's 50 million Social Security recipients will receive a whopping 2.3 percent cost-of-living increase for 2008.

That comes to about $24 more a month for the typical Social Security recipient. This is supposed to cover the cost of living?

What country did the Social Security Administration use as the basis for the COLA figure? Mongolia? Last time I looked, gas prices, food prices and the cost of utilities have gone through the roof in the United States.

And let's not even bring up the cost of medical care. How is anyone supposed to live on $1,079 a month, which is what the typical Social Security recipient will receive in 2008?

The Associated Press reports that the 2.3 percent COLA for 2008 is the smallest since a 2.1 percent boost in 2004 and is a full percentage point lower than the 3.3 percent adjustment for 2007.

The government has figured out another way to screw retirees (beyond the Social Security system itself).

The COLA adjustment is based on the change in consumer prices from this July through September compared with the same three-month period last year.

In the past two years, retirees have benefited from the timeframe the government uses to set the adjustment for the next year, the Associated Press reports. The 2006 increase picked up a jump in energy prices from that occurred in September 2005, reflecting the impact of Hurricane Katrina on production at Gulf Coast refineries, according to the wire service.

This year retirees get screwed because energy costs are spiking in the fall after remaining relatively level over the summer months.

"Retirees are going to feel a disconnect this year between the COLA increase and the reality of the inflation they face," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com, told the AP. "If this calculation were done in another three months, it would be measurably higher."

And even more bad news for senior citizens: Part of the Social Security increase will be eaten up by a rise in the cost of Medicare, the health care program that covers the elderly and disabled, according to the AP.

The government announced earlier this month that Medicare premiums will rise 3.1 percent next year, which comes to $2.50 to $96.40 per month.

President Bush tried to reform Social Security a couple of years ago, but was rebuffed by the Democrats in Congress, who scared the bejesus out of senior citizens (even though Bush's plan would not have touched benefits for anyone currently retired.)

The chickens are coming home to roost. The Social Security system is headed for a monumental crash. We're two years closer to that collapse thanks to the Democrats in Congress.

Congressional Democrats have stuck their heads in the sand on the Social Security mess. And if Democrats win the White House in 2008, they will inherit the problem they largely helped create.

Tony Phyrillas
http://tonyphyrillas.blogspot.com (Columnist)

Send email feedback to Tony Phyrillas


Biography - Tony Phyrillas

Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas


Read other commentaries by Tony Phyrillas.

Visit Tony Phyrillas's website at http://tonyphyrillas.blogspot.com

Copyright 2007 by Tony Phyrillas
All Rights Reserved.

[ Back ]


© 2004-2020 by WEBCommentary(tm), All Rights Reserved