by Steve Chapman
When inflation hits, every dollar in your bank account is worth less each day. Deflation is just the opposite: You put your feet up and watch your money grow in value. The latter is what is happening now to America's seniors. And politicians think they should not have to stand for it.
The other day, the federal government announced that for the first time since cost-of-living adjustments were begun in 1975, Social Security recipients will not get an annual raise in their monthly checks. This decision is not the result of a fit of fiscal austerity or a sadistic desire to punish old people. There won't be a raise to offset inflation for the simple reason that there has been no inflation to offset.
Last year, seniors got a big raise because consumer prices had jumped 5.8 percent in one year. In the following 12 months, though, the Consumer Price Index has dropped by 2.1 percent. So in the coming year, Social Security payments will stay the same and be worth more than they used to be.
But so what? Groups representing the elderly, like AARP, have come to regard the annual raise as a sacred birthright in good times as well as bad, and few in Washington want to argue with them. President Obama has proposed giving every Social Security recipient a tax-free $250 bonus in lieu of a cost-of-living adjustment. Congressional Democrats are all for it, and the Republican leadership sounds agreeable.
A consensus like that happens only when someone comes up with a simple, appealing and thoroughly horrendous idea. As it is, the cost-of-living rules are a great deal for seniors. Retirees get more money when prices rise, but they don't have to give any of it back when prices fall. The ratchet works only in their favor.
It's not easy to make a case for enriching seniors at a time when working-age Americans are suffering, but Obama and his allies are trying. The president insisted that "we must act on behalf of those hardest hit by this recession."
Who is he kidding? His policy would help those with the most protection. The people hit hardest by the recession are those who have seen their earnings vanish along with their jobs. Social Security recipients are assured of a stable stream of income even when companies are cutting payroll with a chainsaw... Read the whole article.
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- ► 2010 (54)
- Vatican Clarification on Delay of Anglican Provisi...
- Attacks on traditional Anglicans prove pope's poin...
- Finding a Catholic home
- Foul Ball!
- Top Catholic bishops demand apology from Rep. Kenn...
- Dissident theologian criticizes pope’s opening to ...
- Developing nation Anglicans decline pope's offer
- A Resilient Baghdad on a Day of Horror
- Benedict’s Gambit
- Obama a tough guy, at least with Fox News
- What the Vatican's welcome of Anglicans means
- America’s Obama Obsession
- The Anglicans and the Eastern churches
- Vatican decision to receive Anglicans prompts US, ...
- Catholicism and Anglicanism: the end of an era
- I shall send you the Paraclete, who will lead you ...
- A Bridge Across the Tiber
- The Pope's bold invitation to Anglicans
- Vatican creates new structure for Anglicans
- Is there a Historic Anglican - Vatican Announcemen...
- The Power of the Plaintiffs’ Bar
- Taking Obamacare Off the Books
- The lucrative business of racism
- Subverting Democracy
- Treating the Elderly Like Spoiled Brats
- The danger of Obama's dithering
- Belmont Abbey College: Preparing to Fight
- The Nobel-Hollywood Complex Implodes
- A Tale of Two Soundbites
- 'Reform' No One Wants to Pay For
- The Vote Democrats Don't Want
- Obama’s Theorems
- The Boys Who Cry Racism
- It’s Not Political, It’s Personal
- Why Catholics Should Take a Position on the Hate-C...
- The Obama Fiasco
- Could a Wave Be Building?
- The Baucus Bill Is a Tax Bill
- "Personally Opposed, But..." Five Pro-Abortion Dod...
- How to take down a great power
- Relics of St Therese of Lisieux arrive at Westmins...
- Twits, Twitter, and Tweets
- God vs. Science Isn't the Issue
- The 'youngest headmaster in the world'
- Obama's Job-Killing Agenda
- 'Conceptual Language' Hides Health Care's Costs
- How to Sell a War: First, Start to Win
- Another Fine Mess: Comics Whack Obama
- A Vain President, or a Weak One?
- Note To Catholic Bishops: Obamanomics Is Evil, Too...
- Our Crybaby Culture
- What I Heard in Honduras
- The Nobel Hope Prize
- A Fitting Prize, in a Way
- What If . . .
- Bioethics, Health Care, and Catholic Teaching
- Max's Adventures in Wonderland
- Young Hamlet's Agony
- Absurd decision on Obama makes a mockery of the No...
- States of Personal Privilege
- Stimulus scam
- I'm the laziest man on Earth.
- Romney Reboots
- What's the Rush?
- Remembering Lepanto
- The New Catholic Manliness
- Same Old Obamacare
- Those White Coats In The Rose Garden
- Obama and the General
- The Obama Snap-Back
- Deployments and Diplomacy
- Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama 'to k...
- Corporate Welfare for Mickey Mouse
- Reconciliation Looms Large As Debate Continues
- The Conservative Case for Reform
- Half a president
- Bad Options on Iran
- Support for Abortion Slips
- Clunkers in Practice
- Queen 'appalled' at Church of England moves, claim...
- The Obamas Violated First Three Rules of Selling
- How to Talk to an Atheist about Christianity
- Pope welcomes new US ambassador, prods on right to...
- President is AWOL as our commander
- Now will Congress investigate ACORN?
- Update: directives on Medjugorje
- This Mission Is Not McChrystal Clear
- Détente and the Bunker
- The Young and the Jobless
- Food Fight: An Unappetizing Development
- Obama’s French Lesson
- Obama’s Olympic failure will only add to doubts ab...
- Benedict’s trip to Britain: new details emerge
- The Obsolescence of a Slur
- Losing Faith in the Commander in Chief
- Palin: ‘Keep on honking; I’m reloading’
- Rotten in Denmark
- Three Dangerous Stooges
- The Limits of Reinvention
- ▼ October 2009 (102)
- Fr. Christopher George Phillips
- Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.