$250 for Senior Citizens to Replace Lack of Social Security Hike in 2011
action reduces income to Social Security Trust Fund by $120 billion
Dec. 9, 2010 –
Republicans jumped at the chance to allow the richest people in the
United States to keep a tax cut that will cost the taxpayers about $70
billion a year, then stomped on efforts to give senior citizens $250 in
2011 to compensate for the lack of a cost-of-living increase in Social
Security. Only 26 Republicans joined 228 Democrats in the failed effort
in the House to pass H.R. 5987.
Republicans in the Senate used their usual weapon of stopping debate to
a vote on the Social Security supplement. Democrats needed seven more
votes as their effort failed by a vote of 53-45.
“… it’s hard
for my constituents to believe this country can’t afford to help those
who need help the most, when they see billion of dollars of tax benefits
going to those who have the most,” said Congressman Gregorio Kilili
“Seniors did not
cause the near meltdown of the economy that occurred in the last days of
the prior Administration, yet too many are still feeling the brunt of
its fallout,” said Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), when in introduced the bill in
economic policies of the prior Administration left the nation in such a
deep recession that, for the first time since automatic COLAs began in
1975, recipients of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income,
Veterans Administration Pension and Disability Compensation, and
Railroad Retirement benefits did not receive a COLA in January of this
House Vote to Provide Seniors $250 in 2011 Due to No COLA
benefit levels are quite modest--only $14,000 a year for the average
retiree. Yet, the median income for senior households is a mere $24,000,
reflecting just how much Social Security means to most elderly
Americans. Six in ten seniors rely on Social Security for more than half
of their income. About a third of retirees have little other than Social
Security to live on.”
“The cruel irony
of Washington’s priorities continues to hit home for America’s seniors,
said Barbara B. Kennelly, President of the National Committee to
Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
and the White House negotiate a tax deal which extends trillions of
dollars of tax cuts for wealthy Americans, today we’re told that
providing $250 for America’s seniors and their families is considered
No cost of
living increase for two years in a row – no one-time relief for seniors
– and promises of benefit cuts ahead. It’s no wonder so many
middle-class seniors’ and their families feel such a disconnect with
some in Washington.”
legislation is critical to our seniors and is fiscally responsible, but
unfortunately, congressional Republicans overwhelmingly chose to oppose
it, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after House Republicans refused to
support the Seniors Protection Act.
“While Democrats maintain a strong record protecting, upholding, and
strengthening Social Security, Republicans continue to advocate risky
schemes to privatize it and cut benefits. America’s seniors deserve
Associated Press says, “…most Republicans contended that the nation
couldn't afford the estimated $14 billion cost of the payment, and that
the COLA freezes in 2010 and 2011 come after seniors received a
significant boost in 2009.”
for Social Security
too, took a hit in the Republican led efforts motivated by their desire
to maintain the “Bush tax cuts,” which help the wealthiest Americans pay
much less in taxes.
In a move to
reduce payroll taxes yesterday, the Social Security Trust Fund, already
paying out more than in takes in, will lose $120 billion more.
U.S.A. Today reports that although this lost money will be
replaced by government IOUS, “…by 2037 the trust fund would lack the
assets needed to pay all the benefits promised to Americans 67 and up,
requiring an immediate 22% benefit reduction.
Social Security contributed nothing to the current economic crisis, it
has been bartered in a deal that provides deficit-busting tax cuts for
the wealthy," said the NCPSSM’s Kennelly.
billion in Social Security contributions for a so-called 'tax holiday'
may sound like a good deal for workers now, but it's bad business for
the program that a majority of middle-class seniors will rely upon in