It’s official. I’m looking at it in black and white under my videomagnifier: no COLA raise for 2010.
I suppose I had hoped for some last minute reprieve for those of us who really depend on the small yearly increase and the way it incrementally builds our income over a period of years.
Since there are angry claims afloat that this is the FAULT of the Obama administration and/or Democrats in Congress, I went looking for some answers on that point.
Social Security recipients around the country are receiving in the mail official notification of their 2010 benefit amount.
On the official form, between the beneficiary’s name and the calculation of monthy benefits, there is this:
“By law Social Security benefits increase automatically to keep pace with inflation. When there is a period of no inflation, the law does not permit an increase in benefits. Based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) published by the Department of Labor, there was no rise in the cost of living during the past year, so your benefits will remain the same in 2010. The CPI is the federal government’s official measure used to calculate cost-of-living increases.”
Back in the spring, DemWit asked two questions:
1) If the Consumer Price Index is calculated in October, how could the AARP and financial news outlets have reported there would be no 2010 COLA raise as early as May 1, 2009?
2) And, how in the hell could they have reported that early that there also will be no 2011 COLA raise?
Apparently these early predictions are based on crystal ball readings of economics gurus, and nothing is official until the Trustees of the Social Security Administration say it’s so in October.
I found one of the clearest explanations of all this at – where else? – factcheck.org.
So, when you receive one of those circulated blame-game emails or hear someone trying to peg this on the Party in Charge, please send them HERE.