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Author Topic: It's Official - No COLA next year  (Read 1982 times)

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Offline Solo_LTSurvivor

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It's Official - No COLA next year
« on: October 15, 2009, 11:21:01 AM »
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – There will be no cost of living increase for more than 50 million Social Security recipients next year, the first year without a raise since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975.

Blame falling consumer prices. By law, cost of living adjustments are pegged to inflation, which is negative this year, the government said Thursday, because of lower energy costs. Social Security payments do not go down, even when prices drop.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, is pursuing a different way to boost recipients' income. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama called for a second round of $250 stimulus payments for seniors, veterans, retired railroad workers and people with disabilities.

The payments would match the ones issued to seniors earlier this year as part of the government's economic recovery package. The payments would be equal to about a 2 percent increase for the average Social Security recipient.

Social Security payments increased by 5.8 percent in January, the largest bump up since 1982. The big increase was largely because of a spike in energy costs in 2008.

"Social Security is doing its job helping Americans maintain their standard of living," said Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue.

But, he added, "In light of the human need, we need to support President Obama's call for us to make another $250 recovery payment for 57 million Americans."

The Labor Department reported Thursday that consumer prices had declined 2.1 percent since the third quarter of 2008. The cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security, or COLA, is based on the change in consumer prices from the third quarter of one year to the next.

Social Security recipients shouldn't get a raise next year because their purchasing power has already increased with falling consumer prices, said the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning think tank.

"Since the purpose of COLAs is to preserve beneficiaries' purchasing power, the decline in overall prices means that beneficiaries do not need a COLA in January 2010," Kathy Ruffing, a senior policy analyst at the center, wrote in a report this week.

Over the past 12 months, gasoline prices have fallen 29.7 percent and overall energy costs have decreased 21.6 percent, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Ruffing noted that government forecasters don't expect consumer prices to return to 2008 levels until 2011.
Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H, called the $250 payments "inappropriate."

"The reason we set up this process was to have the Social Security reimbursement reflect the cost of living," Gregg said.

Some advocates for seniors, however, argue that older Americans spend a disproportionate amount of their incomes on health care costs, which rise faster than consumer prices.

The lack of a cost of living increase triggers several provisions in the law. Among them, the amount of wages subject to Social Security payroll taxes will remain unchanged. The first $106,800 of a worker's earned income is currently subject to the tax.

Also, Medicare Part B premiums for the vast majority of Social Security recipients will remain frozen at 2009 levels. However, premiums for the Medicare prescription drug program, known as Part D, will increase.
Obama's proposal calls for sending $250 payments to Social Security recipients as well as those receiving veterans or disability benefits, railroad retirees, and retired public employees who don't receive Social Security. Recipients would be limited to one payment, even if they qualified for more.

The White House put the cost of the payments at $13 billion. Obama didn't say how the payments should be financed, leaving that up to Congress. The president is open to borrowing the money, increasing the federal budget deficit, just like Congress did with the first round of stimulus payments.

Obama's proposal has picked up support from key members of Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Several groups that advocate for seniors have also endorsed the $250 payments, including the AARP and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

One group, The Senior Citizens League, said Social Security recipients would be better off with a 3 percent increase in their monthly payments.

"Although President Obama's call for a one-time payment of $250 will help seniors, it is a distraction since the zero COLA will cost retirees thousands in lost compounding throughout their retirement," said Shannon Benton, executive director of The Senior Citizens League.

The average monthly Social Security payment for all Social Security recipients is
$1,094.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091015/ap_on_bi_ge/us_social_security_cola
don't equate intelligence with lack of masculinity
Jim Phelps, Mission Impossible
____________________________

Seroconverted: Early 80s
Tested & confirmed what I already knew: early 90s

Current regimen: Atripla. 
Last regimen:  Epzicom, Sustiva (since its inception with NO adverse side effects: no vivid dreams and NONE of the problems people who can't tolerate this drug may experience: color me lucky ::))
Past regimens
Fun stuff (in the past):  HAV/HBV, crypto, shingles, AIDS, PCP

Jan 2012: 818/21%
Apr 2012: 964/22%
Jul. 2012: 890/21%
Oct. 2012: 920/23%

Still UD after all these years

Offline BT65

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I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline David_CA

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Re: It's Official - No COLA next year
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2009, 11:59:57 AM »
Indeed, this was posted back in August.  That thread turned so nasty so quickly... perhaps this one won't. 

On a side note... I'm not getting a COLA for who knows how long.  Neither will the other State employees in NC or many local government employees.  Instead, all State (and many county and city) employees have had furloughs... a cut in pay.   
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Solo_LTSurvivor

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Re: It's Official - No COLA next year
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2009, 12:21:55 PM »

Indeed, this was posted back in August.  That thread turned so nasty so quickly... perhaps this one won't.  

Sorry, I wasn't aware of it as I don't regularly read each forum.  Thanks for that, as it wasn't my intention to incite a riot as I have witnessed many people expressing themselves in very lively and spirited manners occasionally.

There was just something about that line highlighted in red that compelled me to post the article - but next time I'll do a quick search before posting something from the media :)
don't equate intelligence with lack of masculinity
Jim Phelps, Mission Impossible
____________________________

Seroconverted: Early 80s
Tested & confirmed what I already knew: early 90s

Current regimen: Atripla. 
Last regimen:  Epzicom, Sustiva (since its inception with NO adverse side effects: no vivid dreams and NONE of the problems people who can't tolerate this drug may experience: color me lucky ::))
Past regimens
Fun stuff (in the past):  HAV/HBV, crypto, shingles, AIDS, PCP

Jan 2012: 818/21%
Apr 2012: 964/22%
Jul. 2012: 890/21%
Oct. 2012: 920/23%

Still UD after all these years

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: It's Official - No COLA next year
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2009, 12:51:50 PM »
The interesting thing is that personally I don't think I've realized much of this "falling consumer price" stuff.  While I understand that gas prices have fallen, I don't drive a car because I don't own one, and the price of taking a city bus or the subway certainly hasn't decreased.  Of course, the decrease in gas should show up slightly in my grocery bill but other than a few odds and ends I really haven't noticed a decrease in what I spend on groceries.  At all.  Oh, and my rent also went up in the past 12 months which, of course, is kind of odd considering that rental vacancy rates are up substantially (though Philadelphia hasn't been as hard hit as say Florida and Phoenix).

Other than the occasional treat to the movies and maybe some sneakers I can't really say what's gone up or down because I don't have enough money to splurge at the shopping mall.  I suppose prices of washing machines has decreased at BestBuy?  Wouldn't know.

Now fork over that $250 check, dammit!
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline David_CA

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Re: It's Official - No COLA next year
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2009, 01:19:23 PM »
Sorry, I wasn't aware of it as I don't regularly read each forum.  Thanks for that, as it wasn't my intention to incite a riot as I have witnessed many people expressing themselves in very lively and spirited manners occasionally.

There was just something about that line highlighted in red that compelled me to post the article - but next time I'll do a quick search before posting something from the media :)

I wasn't calling you out on reposting at all!  I was merely pointing out that although it had been posted in August, hopefully this time the thread would be a bit more civil.  I have no problem with reposts... I've been known to do it myself form time to time!   ;)
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline BT65

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Re: It's Official - No COLA next year
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2009, 01:30:26 PM »
Now fork over that $250 check, dammit!

Amen!
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline leatherman

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Re: It's Official - No COLA next year
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2009, 02:43:46 PM »
oh thank god! I read the title I and thought "oh No! No more Coca-Cola!"  ;D With a 2-liter bottle a day habit, no Cola sounds like about the worst thing I've heard in a while. ROFLMAO But now a $250 check, well, that'll keep me from being thirsty for 3/4th of the year.  :D
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline freaky_dream

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Re: It's Official - No COLA next year
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2009, 03:35:35 AM »
I thought this was about soda pop. Seriously!

The interesting thing is that personally I don't think I've realized much of this "falling consumer price" stuff.  While I understand that gas prices have fallen, I don't drive a car because I don't own one, and the price of taking a city bus or the subway certainly hasn't decreased.  Of course, the decrease in gas should show up slightly in my grocery bill but other than a few odds and ends I really haven't noticed a decrease in what I spend on groceries.  At all.

That's 'cause the price of diesel tends to stay rather high and does not fluctuate unlike regular gasoline. Also the majority of public transit agencies receives a fare box subsidy from the government to keep fares affordable for the public. Though the majority of public transit agencies operate at a loss even after their subsidies and are only able to operate with government help.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farebox_recovery_ratio

Offline AlanBama

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Re: It's Official - No COLA next year
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2009, 12:11:27 PM »
I'm sure the medicare deduction will go up, so our actual checks will be LESS in 2010.

I just pray I can hold up to keep working my part time job to get that little $420 check twice a month.
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline randym431

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Re: It's Official - No COLA next year
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2009, 03:36:31 AM »
If they don't adjust cost of living SS, then that might mean no coca cola either?  ;D

Im wondering about states not extending unemployment any longer.
A lot of people just scraping by on unemployment. More added every day.
And if these folks are cut off, then I think they are dropped and no longer even counted
among the unemployment figures. So in short, it would actually look like the unemployment
rate has dropped, while actually it is worse. But there you have government accounting for you.
More is less and less is more. Then you have "the invisible" figures.   :o

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: It's Official - No COLA next year
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2009, 09:54:59 AM »
I'm sure the medicare deduction will go up, so our actual checks will be LESS in 2010.

I just pray I can hold up to keep working my part time job to get that little $420 check twice a month.

read this link from AARP

Under an obscure “hold-harmless” provision of federal law, basic Part B premiums in any year cannot rise higher than that year’s COLA. So a zero COLA means that the basic premium (currently $96.40 a month) must stay the same. “The intent of the policy is to protect the amount of the Social Security payment from being reduced by an increase in premium costs,” says Peter Ashkenaz, spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The hold-harmless policy gives this protection to the majority of people enrolled in Medicare Part B who also receive Social Security, Railroad Retirement or Civil Service retiree benefits.

But it does not apply to one in four (or about 11 million) beneficiaries who:

1) do not have their Part B premiums withheld from their Social Security checks, or
 
2) pay a higher Part B premium based on higher income, or

3) are newly enrolled in Part B.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 09:58:17 AM by Miss Philicia »
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

 


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