Social Security

The Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment

Many seniors have a unique view of the Social Security COLA. Some believe it is not based on true cost-of-living, others feel it’s manipulated by Congress or even the President. Some beneficiaries believe they paid for their COLA; they earned it as they say, they are entitled.

Prior to 1975 a COLA required an act of Congress, today it is based on changes in the CPI-W and nothing more. The amount of the COLA rises and falls based on inflation as the chart below shows. Some years have seen substantial increases, a few no increase and several in the past were increases similar to the COLA likely for 2015.

The 2015 COLA will be known October 22nd when the September 2014 CPI-W will be released.

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19 replies »

  1. Tommee-Oliver seems to have a mental problem, and is very hostile. I won’t be reading any more until you block his nasty negative comments. I think he must belong to the teaparty since he doesn’t know that Reagan started the “free telephones” program. He needs mental help.

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      • Dick: What constitutes “abusive” with regards to your column? I would really like to know.
        Is name calling a contributor because you disagree with him abusive? Is attributing mental illness to a contributor considered abusive? (“seems to have a mental problem” followed by “he needs mental help” with out a shred of proof)
        You seem more interested in making sure people continue to read your column then setting out some ground rules of civility (like no name calling). I have disagreed with you and some of your contributors but I defy you to point out where I called people a name (stupid) or attributed a lack of intelligence (i.e. called them “stupid”), mental illness, etc to them. It would seem if you might block someone BBB might qualify along with some others I might suggest who think name calling, etc. is the answer to every comment they don’t like.

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      • Dick I know you’re in there: Kindly respond….
        What constitutes “abusive” with regards to your column? I would really like to know.
        Is name calling a contributor because you disagree with him abusive? Is attributing mental illness to a contributor considered abusive? (“seems to have a mental problem” followed by “he needs mental help” with out a shred of proof)
        You seem more interested in making sure people continue to read your column then setting out some ground rules of civility (like no name calling). I have disagreed with you and some of your contributors but I defy you to point out where I called people a name (stupid) or attributed a lack of intelligence (i.e. called them “stupid”), or mental illness, etc to them. It would seem if you might block someone BBB might qualify along with some others I might suggest who think name calling, etc. is the answer to every comment they don’t like.

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      • I hope I know it when I see it. I don’t think name calling is appropriate, but it’s not quite abusive. I don’t have ability to block and person anyway. The best I can do is delete a given comment.

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      • Dick said: “I hope I know it when I see it (abusive) . I don’t think name calling is appropriate, but it’s not quite abusive. I don’t have ability to block and person anyway. The best I can do is delete a given comment.”
        OK folks the gloves are off…BBB? Does that stand for Big Bellied Blowhard? And you seem to know a lot about “mental conditions” and the need for “mental help”….are you speaking from personal experience? And Dick is probably shaking in his shoes…BBB isn’t going to read his column any more…Dick is probably “crying his third eye out” cause BBB doesn’t like it when people say things that disturbs his lollipop world and surely now that Dick won’t follow BBB’s orders to block people who’s comments BBB doesn’t like BBB will be ignoring thiscolumn. Do yourself a favor BBB…stop reading the column because I’m not going to be muzzled by the likes of you.

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      • Nope not a socialst nor a Communist for that matter. In point of fact I spent 366 days in the bush in South Vietnam trying to convince the socialists/Communists to mend their sordid ways. I am curious about one thing John…why 7 days like BBB to respond? Do you share the same computer?

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    • Subsidized phones started with Clinton and was continued through Bush and Obama. The “free” cell came into effect in 2008 by coincidence.

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    • This diagnosis a “mental problem” and “hostility” comes from BBB. Is BBB is a psychiatrist who is trained to diagnose said alleged conditions? Does he believe in the Constitution and “free speech”? If he doesn’t like you he apparently wants you blocked and threatens to withhold his “valuable” reading patronage. Oh, well what can one do. “BBB?” is that a person or am I being sullied by the Better Business Bureau? Also this comment is posted 7 days later then the my original comment? Like I wouldn’t see it? Why so long to respond?

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    • Funny…everytime I try to respond to BBB so my post ends up at the bottom of the page instead of a response right under his post. Well, I’ll try again but if I’m dropped to the bottom again I’d like to ask Dick why that is? His, at best less than flattering, comments about me personally heads the column and in fairness my response should be right underneath his.
      This diagnosis a “mental problem” and “hostility” comes from BBB. Is BBB is a psychiatrist who is trained to diagnose said alleged conditions? Does he believe in the Constitution and “free speech”? If he doesn’t like your comments he apparently wants you blocked and threatens to withhold his “valuable” reading patronage if one is not.
      Oh, well what can one do. “BBB?” is that a person or am I being sullied by the Better Business Bureau? Also this comment, like Jack’s, is posted 7 days later than my original comment? Like I wouldn’t see it?

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      • I have no idea why. Are you sure you are hitting reply associated with the comment you are addressing. I don’t think the system allows a reply directly to another reply, but that’s beyond my control.

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    • Dick said: “I hope I know it when I see it (abusive) . I don’t think name calling is appropriate, but it’s not quite abusive. I don’t have ability to block and person anyway. The best I can do is delete a given comment.”
      OK folks the gloves are off…BBB? Does that stand for Big Bellied Blowhard? And you seem to know a lot about “mental conditions” and the need for “mental help”….are you speaking from personal experience? And Dick is probably shaking in his shoes…BBB isn’t going to read his column any more…Dick is probably “crying his third eye out” cause BBB doesn’t like it when people say things that disturbs his lollipop world and surely now that Dick won’t follow BBB’s orders to block people who’s comments BBB doesn’t like BBB will be ignoring thiscolumn. Do yourself a favor BBB…stop reading the column because I’m not going to be muzzled by the likes of you.

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  2. EXACTLY Dick…practice what you preach…TIME TO GET OFF YOUR DIATRIBE (on the SS COLA). This isn’t TV news you don’t have to keep repeating, repeating and exploring the same story from every angle under the sun until everyone is bored to tears. I am just presenting facts too that don’t agree with yours…and asking your SPECIFIC opinion on them. I don’t dance around by quoting historical figures or generalities without the specifics you give to SS COLA which it appears you count as a “reply” to a question asking for specifics .
    “Great Interest” to many readers? Hmmm…yes I can see that by the huge amount of comments that are absolutely flooding your posts on SS COLA…wow too many to count!!! Let’s see if you discount Jack B who only called me names by inference there are, if I recall correctly, only two others besides myself and you…the “great interest” on your SS COLA is simply overwhelming, yeh right.
    If, however, many people are just coming to the site just to read your comments and not respond don’t you think it would do them good to see that someone has some questions about the posts?
    Finally returning to my supposed “diatribe” after all doesn’t your blog invite comments? Don’t you post “The most valuable thing about a blog is the exchange of ideas and opinion. Look at our posts and you will see some heated discussion. Why not join the fray? You may agree or disagree and that’s fine either way. Feel free to ask a question when appropriate. Please comment in a post or reply to another readers comments.”
    I feel strongly about this subject and will accept your invitation as noted above to comment on your posts about SS COLA whenever you blog about it.

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    • So, please tell me your exact point. Are you supporting the COLA, think it’s too little, unfair or what? And as far as food stamps, etc go what is your position? Should they be cut, should they be expanded, are they consuming money that should go to seniors or what? Please help me understand what you feel strongly about regarding the COLA.

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      • Now for a “Dick type answer”….I will “help you understand” my feelings when you show me the respect of first answering my questions. You have the traits, in my opinion, of a typical corporate officer…deflect, dodge and put the other person on the defensive (which is usually followed by the comment “why are you being so defensive?”) When you give me your SPECIFIC position on food stamps, etc I will share my opinion with you…after all you were asked first (and second and third for that matter). I’ll share my feelings about your questions when you respond with YOUR FEELINGS AND SPECIFICS to my questions. After all, it is your blog and I would like to know exactly how you feel and what motivates you to choose your subjects and take the positions that you do.

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  3. Here Quinn goes again. He says he’s not fixated on the SS COLA but, folks, just look at his recent writings almost all SS COLA all the time. Also he sung and danced his way around my questions about does he favor and how would he SPECIFICALLY cut the following programs
    Obama Phones
    Section 8 Housing
    Food Stamps
    Welfare
    Medicaid
    with the stock, hackneyed answer “We should work to get people off those programs, etc., etc.” without saying HOW… Let’s play what if Dick…we are not going to get people off those programs with the wave of a magic wand so share with us your thoughts on how to cut them and or stop the yearly increases on them.
    Please be as thorough and detailed as you have been with your Social Security COLA articles and I look forward to see your lists highlighting the years when those recipients got larger increases while not highlighting the ZERO and lesser years thus calling the readers attention to the mostly big increases.
    I’m sure your next article will deal with these NON CONTRIBUTORY by the recipients programs UNLESS as I already stated Social Security COLA a ‘safe target’ for you because if you went after the above programs you would probably be called a “racist” because those programs overwhelming support blacks (12% of the population) who are participating in them at a rate of 30-36% while only about 8% of social security recipients for both old age and disability benefits are African-Americans….it still seems like you’re jumping on the bandwagon and picking on the “politically correct” target to me…i.e. old white folks and now with this article I am wondering if I’m still wrong…what say you Dick.
    Come on Dick…SS COLA dollar wise is just a drop in a very big bucket of spending so get off it already.

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    • Time to get off your diatribe on this. Nobody is going after COLA, merely presenting facts on a topic of great interest to many readers. As far as your other programs go, I did reply. However, here is a good answer from Ben Franklin, but as I said before human nature today is more focused on entitlement and what can you do for me rather than personal responsibility.

      “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” – B Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor (29 November 1766)

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    • Now for a “Dick type answer”….I will “help you understand” my feelings when you show me the respect of first answering my questions. You have the traits, in my opinion, of a typical corporate officer…deflect, dodge and put the other person on the defensive (which is usually followed by the comment “why are you being so defensive?”) When you give me your SPECIFIC position on food stamps, etc I will share my opinion with you…after all you were asked first (and second and third for that matter). I’ll share my feelings about your questions when you respond with YOUR FEELINGS AND SPECIFICS to my questions. After all, it is your blog and I would like to know exactly how you feel and what motivates you to choose your subjects and take the positions that you do.

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