Seniors Targeted Again: No Benefet Rise in 2011

Posted on October 11, 2010

For a second year, persons receiving Social Security Benefits will not see a cost of living adjustment.  Citing the distribution in 2008 as having been above the consumer price index because of high oil prices, lawmakers felt that with inflation running flat for a second consecutive year, it was acceptable to ask seniors and the disabled to live without an increase for a second consecutive year.

As one of the seniors in question, I note that CPI as a determinant may work for people from young through middle-aged, it does not work for those with high age-related medical costs and sensitive to the slightest increase.  Recently, food prices have been rising.  The reason was publicized late last week:

Soaring prices threaten new food crisis

By Gregory Meyer in New York and Javier Blas in London

Published: October 8 2010 18:32 | Last updated: October 8 2010 22:06

Fears of a global food crisis swept the world’s commodity markets as prices for staples such as corn, rice and wheat spiralled after the US government warned of “dramatically” lower supplies.

An especially hot summer in the US, droughts in countries including Russia and Brazil and heavy rain in Canada and Europe have hit many grain and oilseed crops this year. This has raising concern of a severe squeeze in food supplies and a repeat of the 2007-08 food crisis.

The US Department of Agriculture, in a closely watched report, predicted that the country’s stocks of corn would halve to their lowest levels in 14 years.


Big importers in the Middle East and North Africa have started to hoard supplies, which has further tightened the market. [FT via Drudge]

Republicans with their red pencils crossed out seniors for a second bonus payment of $250 in 2011 in an attempt to cut government spending.  Surely there was an alternative measure that could have carried that amount. [AP via YahooNews]

Mind you, all of this is playing out against the backdrop of a feeling at the Fed that perhaps inflation should be encouraged to offset signs of deflation.  Unlike the food shortage, this would be a calculated use of inflation.  If ever there were an argument for smaller government, this would be it.  The left and right hands don’t seem to be coordinated on this one.  Thanks, Congress.  We the Poor People will remember this when you vote to raise your salaries.

©On My Watch…the writings of SamHenry.  Registration pending.