The golden years are there to enjoy the fruits of your labor, travel, enjoy family and friends, and spoil the grandchildren.
It may be a little less enjoyable for the folks who receive Social Security checks each month.
Today the Associated Press reported:
The government is expected to announce this week that more than 58 million Social Security recipients will go through a second straight year without an increase in monthly benefits. This year was the first without an increase since automatic adjustments for inflation started in 1975.
The Great Falls (MT) Tribune ran an unscientific poll yesterday asking readers:
Do you think the lack of an increase in Social Security benefits will affect the upcoming election?
623 people responded, which is pretty good turnout for a Tribune poll. Of those taking part, 72% said “Yes” that they thought it would affect the upcoming election. 28% said “No.”
Almost everyone who has been involved in a political campaign understands that seniors citizens are the group that almost always vote – and they vote according to their pocketbooks and their benefits. Most candidates understand that it is basically a death sentence for their candidacy if they get aligned with privatizing Social Security or with cutting programs that help senior citizens.
It really does not matter to the Social Security recipients that this “formula” for benefit increases was adapted way back in 1970. It matters that they will not get a raise in their monthly checks.
Senior citizens have seen record spending the last couple of years that failed to stimulate the economy. They have seen record unemployment holding steady at over 9%. Seniors have watched sidewalks being built and roads repaved under the “Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” They’ve seen signs spring up in their neighborhoods touting work being done.
All they want is their fair share and, this year, they won’t get it. Maybe the government could have used the money spent on the signs to help seniors?
Ironically, this news coincides with President Obama being in his second year in office. We’ve seen the Democrats in Congress, starting in 2007, pave the way for this underperforming economy, high jobless rates, and record spending which is unseen in our lifetime – and unseen in most senior citizens’ lifetime.
The ball is squarely in the Democrats’ court and this latest issue will only serve to help the GOP win more seats in 2010 and probably beyond. Senior citizens have long memories.