Social Security Raise in 2010 – Yes or No?


Federal law prescribes that Social Security recipients shall receive an annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) if the cost of living goes up. Specifically, the 3rd quarter of the current year is to be compared to the 3rd quarter of the previous year, and if there is an increase then the social security recipients are to get a commensurate increase in their monthly payments.

This year it is reported that there will not be a COLA in 2010 because the cost of living has not gone up. This is apparently the first time since 1975 that no COLA has been earned.

There are reports that some seniors are mad upon hearing that there will not be a COLA. This is because they are accustomed to receiving one each year. And, we all know seniors vote.

So, President Obama has proposed a raise anyway.  He suggests a $250 payment to seniors to help ease the pain. And Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina has introduced legislation (HR-3557) that would give Social Security recipients a raise in 2020 anyway. It would provide a raise equal to the average COLA of the last ten years, about 3%.

Unemployment is near 10% (Higher in California). Many who still have jobs have experienced pay cuts through such techniques as furloughs as well as straight cuts, not to mention reduction in benefits and shifting of more of the costs of benefits to employees. The Social Security Administration says the cost of living has not gone up in the last year and under current law no COLA for Social Security recipients, most of who are retired, will be forthcoming in 2010.

Do we really want the President and/or Congress pushing a raise in retirement pay for Social Security recipients in such an environment? Should these seniors just be expected to “suck it up” like the rest of us are having to do in these tough economic times?  Or, do they deserve a raise at taxpayers’ expense anyway?

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.