COLA adjustment ‘lose-lose situation’

I am compelled to write this message in support of older U.S. citizens that receive Social Security benefits and specifically those who have Social Security benefits as their sole/only source of income.

It was recently reported (Oct. 3) by the Social Security Administration that there would be a 2 percent increase to the recipients’ monthly earnings in 2018, which is being billed as a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

This comes after two years with only a minimal benefit increase (2017 of 0.3 percent; 2016 of 0.0 percent).

National news agencies reported the same and disclosed that about 70 percent of these recipients would be affected. What was not said was how the redistribution method of the overall increase would be handled.

The actual increase (or COLA raise) was applied to Medicare Part B premiums yielding $0.0 to only a very minimal increase in monthly Social Security benefits for the recipients.

Despite it being only a minimal 2 percent increase, for those in need it could mean the difference between buying a little more food at the store or paying those past due bills that have mounted over the year or just having a few extra dollars in their pocket to feel good again.

I cannot help but feel disheartened when I think about our older citizens who have supported this country through years of hard work and bad times across this United States.

This decision by the Social Security Commission and its administrators will undoubtedly have a ripple effect on the economy and overall morale of these recipients.

So, in conclusion, one may ask: Who benefited from this COLA (raise) increase? As I think about it, what actually occurred was a “lose-lose” scenario for Social Security recipients and a win-win for the administration.

And as the motto goes, let’s “make America great again.”

I think not.

Clifford Beaudoin