'Gas pump' COLA vs. Social Security

For just 3rd time in history, Social Security cost of living COLA increases to be denied due to stagnant prices at the pump, what?

  1. Declining or stagnant oil prices will negate social security income (SSI) cost of living allowances (COLA) in 2016 for the first time in five years. Makes one wonder why this trigger doesn't apply to the wage increases for Congress and Federal elected officials? If this were so, then maybe Congress would readdress this archaic formula.
  2. When it comes to living expenses and income, Social Security is a top-of-mind topic for millions of Americans today. But actually, every citizen now collecting Social Security and every one paying into the trust fund that pays those bills has a stake in the viability and longevity of the system.

    Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are adjusted to reflect the increase, if any, in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The purpose of the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is to ensure that the purchasing power of Social Security and SSI benefits is not eroded by inflation. | SOURCE

    But canceling of the SSI COLA comes on the heal of reports of massive increases in the Part B premium for Medicare recipients.

    Medicare is composed of two programs. Under Part A, the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund pays for inpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facilities, home health care, and hospice care. HI is financed by a 2.9 percent payroll tax, shared equally by employers and employees.

    The Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund consists of two separate accounts: Part B, which covers physician and outpatient hospital services and Part D, which was enacted in 2003 and covers prescription drugs. About 75 percent of the costs of Parts B and D are paid from the government’s general revenues, which come from the personal income tax, corporate income tax, etc.

    The other 25 percent comes from monthly premiums paid by beneficiaries, which typically are deducted from Social Security benefits before they are sent to the recipient. MORE

    Congress enacted automatic increases for Social Security beneficiaries in 1975, when inflation was high and there was a lot of pressure to regularly raise benefits. Since then, increases have averaged 4 percent a year. Auto increases (real or not) help Congress avoid votes on such matters and keeps members of Congress from having to explain their votes when they run for reelection.
  3. SOURCE : goo.gl/DvW6kO
  4. Numerous media reports this week detail how some 60 million Americans on Social Security (SSI), including retirees and disabled, will not see a cost of living adjustment (COLA) in 2016. Reason? Stable or declining gas prices, but how can that be? Between now and next July (when the COLA would have been applied to SSI checks), we all know that gas prices will be higher than averages today. What's more, gas price stability is far from uniform across the USA, as Californians know: We on the Left Coast pay at least one dollar more per gallon than elsewhere in the nation.

    Read more: goo.gl/0M49wT and retweet or repost to social media #‎GaspumpCOLAwillnixSSIA & post pics of your next gas pump visit to compare current pump prices with others flip.it/ICsDS

    Last time I checked, COLA and wage increases for career service and other Federal workers (including Congress) are not linked to gas prices. Should that be the case? Do you consider this COLA computation method unfair for retirees and the disabled? Can you trust a system that predicts the level of inflation based upon a single indicator and forecasts what the national inflation rate will be 9 or 10 months from now?

    If you want to "better understand" how your government understands the Consumer Price Index (CPI), just read this:
  5. The "clarity" of this explanation ranks up there with the veracity and insight of this video:
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