Next year, for the second year in a row, America’s seniors won’t be getting any bigger checks from Social Security. Last week, the Social Security
Next year, for the second year in a row, America’s seniors won’t be getting any bigger checks from Social Security.
Last week, the Social Security Administration announced that the cost of living had not risen, with inflation low due to the sluggish economy. (The consumer price index, the measure used to determine cost-of-living-increases, takes into account the pricetag on things like food, housing, medicine and services, like haircuts.) Therefore, benefits will not automatically increase for the 58 million seniors enrolled in the program. Because cost of living did not increase in 2009 either, benefits have held at 2008 levels.
The Social Security Administration noted that the government won’t let seniors get hit by rising Medicare costs, given that prices for medical goods and services have tended to leapfrog other prices: “Should there be an increase in the Medicare Part B premium, the [Social Security] law contains a ‘hold harmless’ provision that protects more than 70 percent of Social Security beneficiaries from paying a higher Part B premium, in order to avoid reducing their net Social Security benefit.”
But Democrats are hitting back. This morning, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, said he will try to introduce a bill granting additional funds to Social Security recipients during the lame duck session.
“Millions of seniors rely on Social Security to make ends meet, especially in today’s troubled economy,” he said in a statement. “While the Social Security Administration has announced that no COLA will be provided next year, it’s a decision I don’t agree with. Too many seniors are struggling to pay rising costs for basic necessities, even while their retirement savings and home values have taken real hits. Earlier this year I voted to provide seniors a $250 Social Security raise. While Republicans blocked our efforts to help seniors the last time, we cannot give up. That is why when the Senate reconvenes, we will give seniors in Nevada and across the country this badly-needed raise.”
The statement comes after White House and House leaders called for Congress to provide additional payments. Last week, Robert Gibbs said the President supports a $250 “economic recovery payment” for seniors, veterans and people with disabilities. And Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pushed for the relevant legislation.
Increasing Social Security is popular. But it won’t be an easy thing to do — particularly not in the Senate. First of all, a $250 bump would cost something like $14 billion, and Republicans would demand offsets. Second, the calendar is awfully crowded during the session, with an unemployment insurance extension, a tax proposal and numerous other contentious issues needing a vote.
$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds
Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal
$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV
The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.
1 Brigade and 1 Battalion
ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the
1. Brian Schweitzer
As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this
#1 in Conspiracy Theories
Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy
$1 Million for Toomey
Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the
$1 Trillion for Fannie and Freddie?
That is the worst-case scenario, according to Egan-Jones Ratings Co., quoted in a Bloomberg article making the rounds. The agency says that if home prices
$1.3 Million for Brown
The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul
Ten Loopholes That Can’t Make It Into FinReg
Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, wrote a blog post that lists the loopholes lobbyists most want inserted into Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.)
Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban
Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on
Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry
China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.