Social Security got short shrift in the presidential “debates” this year, meriting only a brief mention at the end of the third event, and even then, only by Hillary Clinton, who vowed not to cut benefits in any effort to bolster the system’s funding (a promise she was only grudgingly pushed into by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ primary campaign).
The COLA is beyond ridiculous, but if Mr. Lindorff is correct and there is an attempt to mandate investment in private investment firms it could be the catalyst that gets us off our butts and into the streets. I may be past the age when it would matter, but I would sure hit the streets on behalf of my daughter and grandchildren. On what planet does that strategy make sense?
Thank you for this offering. I live in fear every day that they will end my only means of support. I don't believe for one minute that my check, small as it is, is safe from their greed.
I also know that Clinton wants to privatize it and put our money in the hands of the one's that caused the economy to crash. I worked all my adult life and paid into SS religiously, they have no right to cancel the promise of SS for the people that worked for that money.
God help us against this greed that knows no end.
The pols ( hacks ) were bought off decades ago ( 1983 ). We are fighting a rear guard action on SS and other things we were told would be there for us, after working 45 years, or thereabouts. The hacks have deficated on the heads of 70 million people since the Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama Adms. The. " Washington Consensus " has decreed that every week is now Fuck Your Neighbors Week. A pox, or worse, on both the Legacy Party Cabals. Vote Stein & Green in 2016. End the thieving now!
This year my monthly cost for health insurance went up by $100. In 2017 it's going up an additional $200. per month.
That's just health insurance.
I do most of my shopping at Grocery Outlet, a wonderful discount grocery store with foods that have been overstocked elsewhere or are getting near their expiration dates. They also usually have the best prices on beer and wines.
When I go to a regular chain grocery store I usually check their discounted meats and other discounted items.
Occasionally that means I'll get a decent steak at a price I can afford.
But I know the prices of almost everything has gone up.
Which means every year those of us on fixed incomes can buy less and less.
Social Security is getting cut relative to the actual cost of living. They hide it in minuscule increases or, like this year, in no increase at all.
But they can give Israel $38 billion. They can increase 'defense' spending.
And this is happening under a Democratic administration.
Vote Sane: Vote Green.
Uh, on Planet Oligarch? What i don't get is why the 1% keeps doing everything in their considerable power to take our meager lifestyle away from we peons -- they have more than they will ever be able to spend, but they keep cheating to get even more. ... It is so time for the guillotines!
This phony measurement of inflation is not used just in the USA. A like system is used here in Canada.
For our own elderly the CPP benefitsd will rise 1 percent next year and OAS by .1 percent.
This results in an extra 57 cents per month for the OAS and 330 per year for the CPP. The CPP is a true pension plan and the amount received depends on years worked and paid into the system. While most Canadians get the CPP some do not
That one percent sees any increase of pensions and social security as an attack on their own pocketbooks. They feel that income is rightfully their own. Just to show the mentality of this class, a previous employer I worked for announced a wage cut because he felt he not getting enough a return on his investments.He was still profitable but not profitable enough. He justified this by stating that the prices of TVS and Fridges , computers and other such goods had dropped because of cheap imports and that we no longer needed as much money. That my rent, utilities, food and energy costs all went up did not count as far as he was concerned because the Governmnet did not count it either.
As if this were not bad enough a Clinton presidency will probably bring the neoliberal view to Social "Security"(not): http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/38068-blackstone-s-tony-james-touting-what-looks-like-hillary-s-scheme-to-gut-social-security
Here's what the data show is happening to costs of basic life expenses, if the SSA were looking at it:
According to the BLS, in the 12-month period between Sept. 2015 and Sept. 2016, food and energy prices in the US rose 2.2%, medical supplies (drugs) an services (docs and hospitals) rose 5.2% and 4.8% respectively, shelter costs rose 3.4% and transportation rose 3.0%. Only clothing declined in price over the period, by 0.1%. So for our average elderly person, prices clearly rose significantly over this past year--in the range of 3-4%. But the situation is actually worse, since studies show that the average person over 65 spends two times what younger people spend on medical goods and services, meaning that roughly 5% increase in costs hits them twice as hard. The elderly often have a harder time switching to cheaper options, too. They can't, for instance, change their housing as easily if rents go up, they have ingrained eating habits that are hard to change, or may even need special diets that they can't change, and if they are using public transportation they are at the mercy of government-ordered fare hikes. Clearly, with the Social Security Administration stuck, on orders from Congress, using the CPI-W index and limited to offering a benefit increase of just 0.3% for next year, this data is all being ignored.
founding editor of ThisCantBeHappening.net
We are going to need to come together to stop their insatiable greed.
Good to know for that should help you after this election's results. I voted early and for Stein.
Clearly what's needed is a mass movement of the elderly and their progeny flooding Washington DC. We need to get down there with our canes and walkers (useful for tripping up mounted police, fending off batons, etc.) and let Congress know that they're screwing with the wrong people. Hey, we boomers (I'm 67) have a lot of experience with taking it to the street, and the time has come for us to get back down to it. We know it works. Let's show our kids and their kids how political action really works.
founding editor of ThisCantBeHappening.net
We're talking here about screwing with 60 million Americans who currently receive Social Security benefits, and with the several hundred million more who are the children and grandchildren of those older people, who care what is happening to their elders' income, and also about whether Social Security will be there for themselves later. That's an enormous, really unprecedented, political mass, if it can be woken up and enraged enough to act.
And at the epicenter of this, remember, is the boomer generation (myself included) who have had considerable experience in the streets in our younger days that we can resurrect for this current struggle.
I'm calling for a mass movement in the streets to save and expand Social Security and Medicare that could be the core of a new progressive upsurge that could spread to all kinds of other critical issues, from ending US imperial wars to tackling the climate crisis.
founding editor of ThisCantBeHappening.net
Using the logic of those that issue "Official inflation" stats that then used to increase such payments, if the costs of heating in a home go up the person paying for that increased energy need only "substitute" wearing heavier sweaters or sleeping with more blankets in place of using that higher cost energy to warm the home.
It a totally inane claculation with the end game being "there no inflation because people can substitute sleeping in the streets for sleeping in a room or apartment'.
What??? You can afford an occasional steak??? You cretin, you scoundrel you're stealing the taxpayer's money for steak!!! (No, I'm NOT serious as I too am dependent on SSDI.) Actually I am outraged at the greedy (advanced warning...profanity coming!!! (siren and horn sounds) motherfuckers in congress who try to either cut or eliminate OUR benefits that we have paid for over many working years and do so by lying that we are taking amounts such as 65-70% of the annual budget when in fact Social Security is self funding with perhaps the exception of lawmakers repaying the huge sums they have already stolen to make themselves appear financially responsible. There is absolutely no reason for the Social Security Trust Fund to ever be short of money, unless of course as I said above theft of said funds by our cancerous politicians. IF they (congress) could gather up a little bit of courage and make those who "earn" more than $108,000 annually pay on every last penny of their income and in fact increase the FICA payments due on a progressive scale to where the uber rich pay even more than the prevailing rate the trust fund would explode and those who have spent their entire lives making the rich richer would finally get their just reward for working themselves to death. One of the assholes I keep getting ads from is Pete Peterson and his "Foundation" for self enrichment. Pete Peterson is worth billions upon billions of dollars yet he has the goddamned gall to bitch about paying Social Security taxes on his first $108,000 of annual income? I simply can't comprehend the greed of this pig. Further, congress has seen fit to give themselves a cost of living increase on top of their already bloated pay of $180,000+ all of the health benefits, private health facilities we the taxpayer pay for, and their lifetime pension program in spite of the fact that they have only worked one out of every three days for the past several years and when they do "work" they don't do anything but fuck off and accomplish nothing regarding the nation's business. These slugs think they have earned a raise? Frankly I think they have earned some healthy prison terms.Why on God's green Earth do we the people allow these common criminals to do this? Even worse, why do they keep getting elected? Now we face the prospect of "electing" a president that is equal or lesser than these congressmotherfuckers. Now does anyone understand what Benjamin Franklin meant when he said that they the founding fathers gave us a democracy but he doubted we could keep it?
Dave, I have been a long time reader of your articles and I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing this situation to the forefront. I am disabled and have tried my ass off to return to work but guess what? Nobody wants to hire a person who has collected disability in the past and is 60 years old to boot. I never had a chance to save for retirement because I was brought down in the prime of my working years by a progressive injury (degenerative disk disease initiated by an on the job injury) followed by being hit by a hit and run driver on my motorcycle and breaking almost every bone in my body. Even though I want to at least try to be a productive member of society nobody will even give me the chance. I'm stuck on SSDI with no retirement savings and have found it impossible to live on the meager benefits allowed. Our "elected" officials don't give a rat's ass about the elderly or disabled because they know we have no financial leverage to do so. As I have said before, it's more than possible to give seniors and those who are disabled but have worked for and contributed to the system for many decades to be allowed a decent life. All they have to do is eliminate the cap on FICA and the rest will take care of itself. In addition, the rich, who have become rich off off the backs of those now disabled or retired will be forced to pay these hard workers their just due by allowing them a decent end of life paid for by the enormous riches they have stolen from these people and current workers. The government at one time served the people by ensuring that those who profited most from our system of governance also contributed their fair share through taxation. Now the (not our) government does the exact opposite and protects those who wish to exploit the workers by helping them do so. Again, that you for your article! You are an excellent voice for the people Dave..
Clinton cohort Joe Lieberman and Jon Huntsman are leading a group called NO LABELS that picks up where Obama's Simpson Bowles catfood commission left off when Obama's grand bargain to sell the 99% all the way down the river failed.
You can safely bet your last nickle that you will be hearing about NO LABELS during Clinton's first hundred days.
The people in the picture are protesting to keep their Social Security office open. The problem is they are government employees. There may be good reasons to do that, but we shouldn't be doing it JUST to keep bureaucrats employed.
You are correct that we baby boomers have had experience in the streets. I among many, I hope, are ready to do it again. Let me know when and where.
I fully agree with the idea of a mass protest. We can't sit idly by while they privatize our social safety net. I will spread this everywhere I go on the web and would gladly join any groups pushing for a strong effort to save this precious program.
I too am a boomer. I live with my son or I would be homeless. I cannot do nothing while they do their pillaging. I am voting for Jill Stein and the Green party as they agree with us on this and the other critical issues you mentioned. They aren't afraid to get into the streets either.
Please let us know if there are other groups we can work with.