President Trump and a 3.5% Social Security COLA

Someone recently asked me; “Is it true that Trump is giving a 3.5% COLA next year?”

That’s a big, NO‼️

The idea that a president can give or not give or set the amount of a Social Security COLA is false. The COLA is based on a formula contained in the law. Congress can change the law, of course, but a president cannot.

The Social Security Trust has enough problems, we don’t need to create more by compounding unjustified COLAs.

In fact, if we were prudent, coupled with other changes affecting the working population we would trim or skip a COLA or two to help get the trust in better shape … but not to worry, prudence, fiscal responsibility, concern about debt and long-range planning are not the hallmark of our politicians or our society.


  1. In 2010, 2011 and 2016 there was no SS COLA. So the government spends the savings on war, foreign aid and research into pigeon-toed Ugandans instead. In other words, the government wastes a lot of money. Using some of that otherwise wasted money to help American senior citizens seems reasonable to me.


    1. There are no savings when there is no COLA. It merely means the SS Trust will be able to pay full benefits a few months longer.


      1. Nope. All the money in the Trust is in Treasury bonds already. There hasn’t been and excess taxes to put in the Trust since 2010


      2. If only the Congress would just fix the SS system, so there is no shortage in 2033 and beyond. The SS tax has not been raised since 1990, yet benefits have been adjusted up up up. This has allowed employers with low income workers to pay less tax, while providing almost no additional benefits to their workers. I quit working at age 50 and watched my projected SS benefits at 62 go from $595 to the $782, I am now receiving, plus my spouse’s benefit of $416, with no additional SS taxes paid in. I will have everything that was paid in SS taxes on my record (both employer and employee) back in 30 months. Best return on $38,000 in SS taxes paid over 29 years of work. $309,120 over the next 20 years, not counting any COLAs.

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