Hey, it’s all coming from the same pot


Let us see if we can get this right, for 2010, there is no increase in Social Security benefits, and  Congress is considering legislation to stop the scheduled increase in Medicare premiums.  Inflation is low so there is no increase in Social Security, but health care inflation is high so there should be no increase in Medicare premiums despite the fact there failing to increase premiums in 2010 will add to the Medicare financial problem and may cause higher increases in subsequent years.

More Congressional math. 

Sooner or later they are coming home to roost
Sooner or later they are coming home to roost

It seems to me that a 5.8% increase in Social Security in 2009 should be good enough for two years at a time when there is virtually no inflation and workers are seeing no pay increase or worse.  On the other hand, I have been unable to convince my wife who is receiving Social Security of my logic so I suspect the AARP has the same problem.  We seniors are a greedy lot. 

Now, because there is no inflation the amount you can place in your 401(k) or receive from a qualified pension plan is not increasing either from 2009 levels. This should not matter much as pensions are disappearing, people are not getting raises, they cannot afford to save and probably are not motivated to save because their employer match is gone from the 401(k) as well.   

However, my favorite is the pending legislation that will stop the cuts in Medicare payments to physicians (again) to appease the AMA while adding to the deficit to the tune of a quarter billion dollars or so.  Now, to avoid confusing us Congress insists that this is not part of health care reform so the planned “saving” from Medicare of $404 billion are unaffected by spending half of it.   

Hey, it’s only money…yours.



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