Archived Messages From the President
October 19th, 2016
The Social Security Administration announced yesterday that the yearly increase (cost-of-living-adjustment/COLA) for Social Security would be .3%. For the average person on Social Security that means a raise of less than $4.00 a month. We don’t think that’s fair and here’s why.
If the actual inflation for seniors was really .3% then everything would be fine. Older Americans aren’t looking for a hand out, they don’t want something they don’t deserve. But, .3% isn’t the true inflation for seniors and that’s where fairness leaves the equation. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) that is used to calculate the COLA is for urban wage earners, a much younger population. While the price of electronics or gas or other commodities may have gone down or stayed stagnant the cost of healthcare, for instance, a major part of a mature American’s budget, went up 5%. That’s 15 times more than .3%. Older people don’t purchase as many electronics and they don’t drive as much as younger people so they don’t get the advantage of the falling prices on those items but they get hit hard by the rising cost of healthcare. It’s not fair!
There’s been a problem with the CPI for a long time and we have identified a solution. RetireSafe has championed a bill, the CPI for Seniors Act (HR 3074), that would make the COLA fair. It was introduced in this Congress by Representative John (Jimmy) Duncan from Tennessee and now has 16 co-sponsors. This bill would use the actual expenses of older Americans to calculate a fair COLA. Seems like a simple solution but it has yet to get out of committee. We haven’t heard anyone running for Office talk about this problem but it affects every person on Social Security and it isn’t right and it isn’t fair.
Mature Americans have worked hard their whole lives, paying their bills, sticking to a budget, making their own way and keeping their promises. That’s more than I can say for our government. Especially that part about keeping promises. Our government made two promises; when we decided to retire, they would send us a check every month and that the check they sent wouldn’t lose its value due to inflation. They kept the first promise but have failed on the second one. It seems that every year the Social Security check buys less and less. It’s because the COLA isn’t calculated correctly and it needs to be fixed. We encourage you to contact your Representative and tell him or her to become a sponsor of HR 3074. It’s a fair solution to a problem that has affected older Americans for far too long.
Thair Phillips – President