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  • Pelosi Proposes Seniors Subsidy to 'Replace' the 2011 Social Security COLA

    Today’s announcement that Social Security recipients will not receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) again in 2011 brought an immediate reaction from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–CA). She proposed that the lame duck Congress vote on giving seniors another $250 one-time payment supposedly to replace the COLA.

    This seemingly altruistic gesture would help Social Security recipients, but the real effect would be raising their grandkids’ taxes. These checks would be paid for with borrowed money, money that today’s children would have to repay with interest.

    Today’s Social Security is seen as an earned benefit paid for by payroll taxes on earnings. The program is governed by set rules that determine how benefits are calculated, to whom they are paid, and under what circumstances benefits are increased. These rules were put in place to protect the program from politicians who might try to turn Social Security into a welfare program that paid benefits to politically connected groups regardless of whether they actually paid the taxes for them. The COLA rules, especially, were designed to make sure that recipients’ buying power was protected against inflation and to stop lawmakers from raising benefits in an election year.

    Pelosi’s move follows both a 2009 vote that also provided Social Security recipients with a $250 check after the COLA formula resulted in no increase for 2010 and stimulus checks in both 2008 and 2009 as part of failed efforts to restart the economy. It opens the door to more politically motivated payments any time that Congress wants to “help” seniors.

    Most seniors will not be harmed by the absence of a COLA in 2011, because although prices went up by 1.4 percent over the 12-month measuring period, they are still below the level for the 2009 COLA increase. As a New York Times analysis pointed out, the 2009 COLA was the largest in 27 years since it was based on the inflation rate during the third quarter of 2008, a time of very high gas prices and other economic anomalies. In effect, the 2010 and 2011 COLAs were prepaid in 2009. In addition, for most Social Security recipients, their Medicare Part B premiums have been frozen.

    In a year when Social Security will run a $41 billion cash flow deficit and the overall federal deficit is again over $1 trillion, Pelosi’s planned $250 payments just makes the situation worse. And while these checks appear to help retirees today, the real effect will be to take money from their grandkids. That is a sorry legacy to leave for future generations.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    29 Responses to Pelosi Proposes Seniors Subsidy to 'Replace' the 2011 Social Security COLA

    1. Roy Morris - Troy, N says:

      Nancy pelosi – keep your money! Come to think of it it's my money. I receive sosial Security and I work full time. Don't take thousands from people and then return $250.00 out of pity. NO $250.00 won't buy my vote!

    2. BJ Ayers says:

      Maybe congress and the "spend Queen could donate their salary increases to offset the cost. Questionis, will they take a cost of living increase!

    3. D Filak says:

      And now the Heritage Foundation is full of it self. The Social Security Program was self supporting until our "Elected Officials" decided it needed to be used for Welfare. That's right Folks, Our own Government GAVE our money away to those who NEVER paid a red cent into the program.This happened back in the 60's, and has not been addresses by Congress, except to wonder where all the money went. I paid in for over 20 years to find at 62 I'm entitled to $504 a month, where as a Child, who has never worked a day in their life, let alone paid into SS, receives $800-$1000 a month in cash benefits and medical. Or the postal employee who is an alcoholic with 3 kids, can't work because he won't sober up, gets over $1500 a month with ALL his kids receiving a check also. And this is right? I'm a Disabled Veteran who lives WAY below the poverty level, and sinking lower thanks to Our Politicians. No raise, meanwhile everything goes up in price, a loaf of bread, last year $1.00, now $1.69, same loaf, same brand. No inflation? Open your eyes, it is all around you, and D.C. and all the Elected S.O.B.'s don't care.

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    5. e. cown carson city, says:

      '……Most seniors will not be harmed by the absence of a COLA in 2011, because although prices went up by 1.4 percent over the 12-month measuring period………..'

      As long as they don't raise the Medicare premiums, I can probably make it. But don't tell me the cost of living went up only 1.4%! Their calculations leave our Food and Energy – the two biggest elements in one's monthly outgo. (Gasoline went from $2.68 a few days ago, to $2.76 today). Crop failures are already pushing up the price of raw materials, which will translate into higher costs at the grocery store sooner or later, most likely sooner.

      We certainly have to do something to prevent our grandchildren from having to work till they are 90 years old, in order to collect a few hundred dollars a month in Social Security. But please don't be so cavalier in your dismissal of the ability of seniors with Social Security as their sole source of income, to survive this year or next.


    6. ILLINOIS says:



    7. PippN, Severna Park says:

      The economy she and her fellow Democrats is so weak it is even growing and doesn’t warrant a COLA. So she’s trying to buy votes with borrowed money to borrow time.

      Pelosi promised transparency. Little does she know how transparent she is.

    8. jersey flash says:

      EVERYONE**consider this, I retired at age 62 I am now 68 . The COLA in 2010 would have increased my total SS income by $$792.00. My parents and grandparents have long gone. My grandparents lived into there mid-90's, my parents both into there late 80's. Let's do some simple math-68 now, maybe I could be looking at 85. That would mean that I have another 17 years (If that truck misses me????) 17 X 792.00 = $$$$ 13,464.00 times 2 because the same thing will apply for 2011. That is $$ 26,928.00 of MY MONEY that this administration is ROBBING from me. I and my employer but this money in a bank and it drew interest in a compounding mode. They want to through us a bone of $$$$ 250.00. Everyone and I mean everyone got a raise in the government. Freeze the senior citizens income that is ours**Freeze your A@S

    9. Jannie Walker, Loudo says:

      So rich Nancy will toss out a few pennies to the peons who pay for her airplane trips and booze. Well, isn't she sweet?

    10. MrShorty - Arizona says:

      I think most of us senior citizens aren't as dumb as the Dems and Pelosi think. We know where Obama's "stash" comes from and we also know there isn't any free "Obama Money". Our Country has weathered 2 years of the Progressive Dems' fiscally irresponsible policies that have left millions of people without work and dependant upon their government checks to make it day to day. This coming election on November 2nd will give us all a chance to change the direction of the Country's economic policies with a voice that cannot be denied. Poll after poll has shown the Washington politicians that what they are doing is not in the interest of the people of this Country. They have continued to ignore us and some would even say "demean us as being dumb and un-American". I don't think I'm dumb and I'm sure not un-American. I believe we "seniors" will unite and vote in candidates that are committed to the prosperity of America for us and our grandchildren.

    11. bubbles Phoenix says:

      First stop the squandering of tax payers dollars. It is way past time to stop the foollish earmarks and other handouts for rediculous causes.

      Tell Pelosi to stop the expensive travel back and forth to Washington from California.

    12. Tom Georgia says:

      In our lifetimes we have been "privileged" to witness the single greatest transfer of prosperity that has ever taken place in all of human history.

      It's too bad that the transfer took prosperity that had not yet been produced from the then future and transferred it to the then present where it was used, consumed and otherwise dissipated and done away with.

      Then with the flow of time the then present became the past and the then future became the present. The prosperity that was transferred then was more than is being produced and created now but we, our children and grandchildren still have the debts that were incurred to facilitate and enable the transfer.

      What we are now experiencing is confirmation of the old saying, "Paybacks are Hell."

      If a nation and a nation's people are to be able to incurr increasing indebtedness and still be able to sustain their prosperity on indefinitely into the future then the real material value that is produced and created by the nation's real economy must continue to increase at a rate that is equal to or greater than the rate at which indebtedness increases.

      The ability of an economy to produce and create prosperity has hard limits. The limits to private and public indebtedness can appear to be malleable, pliable and flexible until at some point they reach a sudden hard limit. Then there is hell to pay in the nation. It is good judgement and good judgement alone that can save a nation from itself. God and Heaven help those who have enough good judgement that they are able to help themselves.

      We have arrived, folks. Them ain't chickens comin' home t' roost. Them's buzzards gatherin' and waitin'.

    13. Grumpy-39 says:

      Let's see. Pelosi math.

      If $250 represents inflation for 2010, then we can easily calculate that it will represent a monthly increase of about $20. For a retiree who receives $1000.00 per month that is an increase of (La-De-Dah-De-Da!): 2%! Ms. Pelosi's "COLA" will be quite a bit larger than that. Just her share of the debilitated "Bush Tax Cuts" will make her a happy flapper. What we might ask her is to see, by actions alone, how long her marriage lasts if she spends at home at the same rate she spends in Washington, D.C.

    14. Glenn, Scottsdale, A says:

      If Pelosi wants to do something to help, she should increase the monthly payment enough to cover the increased costs of the Medicare Premium. That is simple enough even for her to understand.

    15. Glenn, Scottsdale, A says:

      The minimum should be to increase the monthly payment to equal the increase in the Medicare premium.

    16. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      We heard this same bull last year, well medicare went up and so did my supplemental Ins, so I got a pay cut. This is not an intitlement, fiure it out, they took money from your check EVERY PAY DAY and your employer also contributed, now if this was put in a savings acct and not touched as it was promised, figure out what amount you and your employers contributed and how much th interest, using minuim would be .It's more than would be needed. An Insurance man sat down with my husband and I back in the '70's and it showed that what we were getting would have been from accrued Int. and never touch the principal.. Also figure how many paid in to this and NEVER lived to collect, I know at least 5 off the top of my head, I draw on mine, so whaT WAS LEFT IN MY HUSBANDS went to main fund. NOW if you were in the Insurance bus. and you did what the gov't. has done guess where you would be now.

    17. Drew Page, IL says:

      Did Pelosi say whether or not these $250 pre-election, mini-bribes are exempt from her "Pay-Go" legislation, like every other spending bill she has pushed?

      D. Filak is right. Our government officials have dipped into the "lock box" (HA) and taken our Social Security funds and left worthless IOUs. At least we are told they left IOUs. Has anyone ever seen one? I have asked Heritage numerous times to report on how much has been taken from Social Security, when, for what and by whom? How many billions, or trillions have been taken from Social Security in order to spend that money on something, or someone, else?

      I'm sick of being told that we who paid into S.S. for 45 or 50 years are selfishly refusing to give up "entitlements". Social Security isn't welfare, or a rent subsidy or food stamps, paid for by someone else. Social Security is an insurance annuity plan we bought from the government. We and our employers paid for this annuity. Expecting our Social Security benefits is no different than expecting monrhly payments from any other annuity we purchased to meet our retirement needs. It is no more an "entitlement" than the appliance we bought and paid for being delivered on the promised delivery date.

      How and why is it that the geniuses in Congress never dipped into their own pension funds and left IOUs? If for no other reason than this, the pension plans of Congress and all elected federal officials should be immediately merged with Social Security funds and the pension benefits of all elected federal officials should be reduced to Social Security levels. They are the SOBs that ruined social Security by taking all that money and leaving IOUs for posterity to payoff, while they retire on fat government pensions.

    18. KLIMAX Baltimore, Ma says:

      Although I am a few years from collecting Social Security (SS) I follow what is going on because what happens now will impact me later !!! Giving the Seniors $250 instead of a cost of living raise is an insult to OUR intelligence we know how much things have gone up particularly prescription medicine !!! If NObama can afford to give "EVERY" Government worker from him on down a COL raise why does he think the seniors don't need one ???!!! Does the Government overseer think that the Seniors just sit around all day ???!!! They have lives and go places and spend money just like everyone else it is just harder for the seniors to do because NOBAMA and his Puppets know what is best for us just like they do everyone else in OUR country !!!

      NObama set up Obamacare to allow illegal aliens to receive "FREE CREDITS" from the program so in essence NObama will pay for the illegals health care but took 5 hundred billion from medicare to pay for it !!!! The seniors are left hanging out to dry paying more toward health care with no COL increase and "NO FREE CREDITS" like the illegals will get !!! Charity begins at home so lets take care of the people who have worked hard all their lives and give nothing to anyone who is not a citizen (ILLEGAL ALIENS) !! THINGS WILL CHANGE AFTER NOVEMBER 2nd !!!!!!

    19. PippN, Severna Park says:

      What's the matter with that woman? She and her partners in crime have engineered an economy doing so poorly that COLAs aren't ever warranted. So now she wants to try to buy off the Senior vote with borrowed money to cover for her pathetic leadership?

      This story never seems to change. Buying votes with taxpayer dollars is the Democrats mantra.

    20. Paul Brown says:

      Keep the $250, I am one senior that doesn't need charity from the government. Not now or ever. In fact, the Congress should send back the $10,000 they voted for themselves for 2010-2011 last year, as they voted to suspend raising Social Security for all others. Congress and the country need a new direction from the new direction they have taken in the last 4 years.

    21. Paul Brown, Arizona says:

      Save Congress and Obama the money, keep the $250. This is one senior that doesn't want or need your charity. Even though my family has never been half way to a 6 figured income. Give it to Congress, they will get it anyway. The people need a new direction, which is different than the new direction Congress and the Administration is now going in. Thanks for nothing.

    22. Tony F says:

      Hey To all of the Seniors. This is only $20.83 per month. Is it worth the extra tax burden on our future tax payer? Someone needs to say enough is enough, we are not going to stand for this crap from Mrs Pelosi . She and all of her cohorts in the Congress need to go. No taxation without representation. I'm not being represented by this bunch.

    23. Keith, Arizona says:

      I find it interesting that government employees were given a 3% COLA this year but seniors are not deserving of the same consideration.

    24. Drew Page, IL says:

      D. Filak is right. social Security was self supporting and could be again if the government would stop raiding the "lock box" (HA) to pay for other things.

      I have asked in many previous posts here that Heritage look into and report on how much money has been taken from the Social Security trust fund, from day one. How much was taken each time? Who took it? Was was it spent on? Have any of the so-called IOUs ever been repaid? Were "IOUs" ever, in fact, issued and if so, where are they recorded.

      You see it really doesn't matter if we double the Social Security taxes if we continue to allow politicians to take this money and spend it on what ever they please. For years most of these politicans have called for greater accountability. When politicians talk about education, we hear that word continuously used. Schools need to be held accountable; teachers need to be held accountable. So who's accountable for spending Social Security funds on things other than Social Security benefits?

    25. William Anderson says:

      I'm sure that all of the people that are here reading this are well informed as to what is going on. What WE need to do is make sure that ALL of our friends and others that are not as well informed are made aware of Pelosi's attempt to buy the seniors vote ironically with those same tax payers money. Make sure they know that it's only $20 plus dollars more a month and how much that will become for our grandchildren when they have to pay for it. Make sure to ask them how they feel knowing that those same politicians that could give a rat's a**

      about how the seniors are coping with today's economic calamity but feel it's ok to approve their own raise of $10,000 + over the last couple of years. Come November 2nd WE need to say "Yes We Can" fundamentally change Congress and remove the poison that now plagues this country.

    26. Barry S, says:

      Pelosi, you just never "get it." I am a senior and don't want a COLA increase and certainly don't want a "subsidy" to replace next year's lost COLA. You just don't seem to understand that the $250 will have to come from the pockets of people who are lucky enough to still be working and from my children, my children's children, and their progeny for God knows how many decades. You and your comrades have damaged the financial stability of this country for another century, and it appears that you have no shame in priding yourself as one of the saviours. You might get votes from some greedy seniors who don't give one tinker's dam about others, but not from me. I can't wait until you are voted out of office. I don't want any more of your "help," and hope others feel the same way.

      Just stop spending us into oblivion, then bragging about all the programs you have voted on to "help" us.

      You are making me sick. I would much rather have you try to find ways (it's really not difficult) to save that $250 by cutting out $250 worth of pork-barrel and "stimulus" money that you plan to scrape from the hard-earned savings of us taxpayers.

    27. O Palmer/Missouri says:

      OK all you people had ypur vote on Nov. 2, now pay the price. you still did not get rid of the problem we had. sure you voted for republicans, however they want the same plan that Bush installed when he was president, none of them went to Obama with ideas of how to mend the health plan or how to get more jobs, or fix the economy. or nothen . Only bickering and unapolic words of non wisdom. they are truly not for this america or its true citizens, they only want their money, as we want ours.I am 80 years old and have earned the right to gripe. i paid my ss and medicare payments from my wages, and deserve to collect from it now.I would loved to have gotten socialized medicene, the same as all congress personel get. they think we don't need it . neither do they.And why do we give so much money to forign countries, like isreal and palastine. who in accordance with the bible will continue to fight each other. To bad that guy wanted to have a kid ,and went to another country to get it. Know what i mean? no. Read your bible.Well i have said all this and i can bet that no one gets to read it , cause it just don't get the attention it needs.

    28. John Pa. says:

      What I can not understand is S.S. has the money but can not use it because the government body has borrowed all of it and is not paying it back thinking everyone will forget about it or laws will be made so they do not have to pay it back, this is the only way the S.S. account is broke and short on funds. Let's face it the elected are crooks only in for what they can do for theirself's.

    29. KEN says:

      How will this make up for gas prices that are out of sight,meds going up along with everything else.The ss department says the elderly and the disabled MIGHT FEEL AS THOUGH THEY HAVE LESS TO SPEND,well it's true they don't fell as though they have less,they do have less a lot less.KICK ALLTHE BUMS OUT IN 2012!!!!!

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