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A Raise That Isn’t and a “New Normal” Few Like

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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by AMAC, Jeff Szymanski
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38 Comments
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The Social Security Administration announced on October 13th that the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2022 will be 5.9%. That’s the highest in 40 years. So why aren’t seniors popping the champagne corks?

Simple. It’s not a raise at all. The COLA merely keeps one from falling still further behind. Sure, monthly benefits are going up. Someone receiving the average Social Security benefit of $1,555 will be due an extra $91 per month. But Medicare’s 2022 Part B premium is expected to eat up $10 per month of this. Further, the sting of price increases has been felt since immediately after Joe Biden took office. That means seniors have been paying higher prices for over nine months now before they even get their cost of living adjustment.

“Bidenflation” is making seniors worse off, not better off. Inflation robs people of the value of their money. It’s no different than a burglar taking funds from your sock drawer. According to one senior advocacy group, the surging cost of gas, used cars, home heating oil, bacon, eggs, beef, milk, and home care for the elderly were among the fastest-growing expenses for older Americans over the year ending July 2021.

But are Joe Biden and the Democrats really to blame for the current inflationary economy? The answer is, for the most part, yes! Leftist policies to date have fueled price increases and scarcity. The third stimulus bill passed in March 2021 without a single GOP vote sent yet a third round of checks to nearly all, even though vaccines were aplenty and the economy was growing. Inflation resulted. It was a textbook case of too much money chasing the same number of goods.

Bonuses of $300 over and above regular unemployment were also passed as part of that bill. That created huge disincentives to work. Business leaders practically begged politicians not to destroy their companies by making hiring even more difficult. Companies have been forced to compete with the government by offering much higher pay, but that just gets passed on to consumers. That pizza or chicken parmesan is several more dollars now, no matter where you order it than it was under President Trump.

Childcare tax credits are being sent out to middle and lower-income families every month now. Many economists think that is keeping people from reentering the labor force, even as the unemployment bonuses ended over a month ago. It’s yet another disincentive and thus distortion of what could be a normal economy.

Shortages. This is a more complex issue, but a lack of truck drivers is one of the biggest problems right now. It’s the reason you see dozens of ships waiting out at sea to dock when you turn on your television. There are too few truckers to drive the goods to market. Many drivers chose not to return to work, and still many more decided not to bother applying for the thousands of open positions in this industry and nearly every other. Better to stay home and get paid. Now Biden and the Democrats are essentially trying to prepare us all for a Blue Christmas. One economist said to not expect normality to return until after next Christmas—in 2022!

It didn’t have to be this way. Under the last Administration, it absolutely wasn’t this way. In fact, you have to go back to the Carter years to find an economy so distorted by bad decisions and lackluster leadership. Seniors likely remember the late 1970s well. It was gas lines, sticker shock, foreign policy blunders, and malaise.

AMAC will continue to advocate for restrained government and more freedom. We favor innovation over regulation and empowerment and entrepreneurship over entitlement. AMAC even has a plan to preserve and modernize Social Security for the long term to prevent insolvency, which is predicted to occur in just over a decade. Continued inflation might very well drive the insolvency date closer.

As the worst days of the pandemic began fading from memory, most expected a return to some kind of normal. Instead, we’ve gotten a Biden and Democrat version of a “New Normal.” Polls show very few Americans like this “new normal.” The elections in November 2022 will be one of the best places to register one’s dismay over inflation and the current state of this distorted economy.

Jeff Szymanski works in political communications at AMAC, a senior benefits organization with nearly 2.4 million members. He previously taught high school government and economics for 15 years.

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Bill on the Hill
Bill on the Hill
2 years ago

” The elections in November 2022 will be one of the best places to register one’s dismay over inflation and the current state of this distorted economy. ”
More double speak here as the final sentence in this article points out…How can anyone even remotely have a scintilla of confidence in a 2022 election when the 2020 election was utterly stolen out from under each & every voter in America? At the rate we are going, economically, we won’t have a country left to save before Nov. of 2022 ever gets here!
I’m NOT looking at 2022, I’m looking at 2020 & what a STOLEN election has already done to this nation ( 10 ) months into 2021…We don’t fix this & mean fixed real fast, there is NO point in ever voting again… Why has the AG of Arizona NOT issued indictments to all of those that deleted the data from the Dominion servers the day before the audits were conducted?
Has anyone come to the conclusion yet that the Dominion/Smartmatic systems can NEVER be allowed into this nation ever again?
We now have a tyrannical federal gov’t calling me a ” domestic terrorist ” because I voted for Donald J. Trump, both times & he WON both times!
I am now considered a ” domestic terrorist ” for attending a school board meeting & asking them to stop teaching my children CRT & The 1619 Project…
What is WRONG with this picture? I’ll answer it for you, everything is WRONG with this picture!
Bill on the Hill… :~(
PS: LETS GO BRANDON, i.e. F**K JOE BIDEN…

Evelyn
Evelyn
2 years ago

Hopefully, the 2022 election will definitely be a turning point for America away from the Socialist nonsense being placated by the Biden Administration.
Some have speculated Mark Zuckerberg actually bought the 2020 election by giving $419 million to two nonprofit groups who hired people to aid voters in filing out ballots by knocking on doors. In my opinion, that is fraud! Also, boxes were provided for mail in ballots in swing counties within certain states.
This is a danger to democracy.

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

The Democrat agenda, which was readily available for EVERYONE to read through most of 2020, is by its very nature a blueprint to cause both shortages and much higher inflation across our entire economic system in this country. All as it re-makes virtually all aspects of life in this country. We’ve been through smaller versions of this social engineering nonsense in the past, first with FDR and his New Deal and then with LBJ with his so-called Great Society, with similar results. Well this version will make those look like a July 4th sparkler compared to a stick of dynamite.

We’re moving towards full-blown socialism, at an ever accelerating rate, and all socialist countries have high rates of persistent inflation and weak economies. It’s a given of the social welfare state model. The only winner is the government, that has greatly increased powers and reach. If we do nothing as the author suggests by saying “The elections in November 2022 will be one of the best places to register one’s dismay over inflation and the current state of this distorted economy.”, much of the damage will largely NOT be reversible.

The government programs created and expanded that are included in both the so-called Infrastructure Bill and the Reconciliation Bill will make changes that are impossible to undo. Which is why the Democrats are working feverishly to get both bills across the finish line by any means necessary BEFORE the 2022 elections. Whether they have to further fudge the numbers or find a way to pay off a couple of holdouts for losing their congressional seats, all angles are being worked as we speak. If they succeed, the 2022 elections become a largely moot point, as our election process itself will be fundamentally changed to favor Democrats. Government programs once enacted are impossible to eliminate. Sitting on our hands for more than another year is NOT a strategy that will yield us the results most people think they will. Much of the damage will already have been accomplished by the Democrats.

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
2 years ago

COLA is based on only a few items. Inflation affects ALL items! Heating alone is predicted to go up 50%. We have a bunch of idiots and/or communists running the country. Not one capable person in charge of any department.

charlesw04
charlesw04
2 years ago

Not to mention that my Medicare supplemental plan because I’m over 70 goes up $10 to $20 per month. With inflation and the cost of living I’m definately headed in the wrong direction. But the DemonKrats could care less. I suspect in the very near future they will encourage euthanasia for those over 65.

Lina
Lina
2 years ago

This is a good article-but I have been curious about this caveat…while a COLA is surely needed, where is that money coming from?? According to the 2021 annual report of the Social Security Board of Trustees, the surplus in the trust funds that disburse retirement, disability and other benefits will be depleted by 2034-an entire year earlier than projected in the 2020 report. With benefit payments going out that are larger than the income from taxes/interest going into the funds-not to mention the poor overall economic status due to the “pandemic” and other factors-how can the books show the largest COLA in 40 years??

J. Farley
J. Farley
2 years ago

The same old story, the longer I live the be hinder I get, this is nothing more than a shell game to get you to vote for the Democrats, if we were not going to see an election next year, they would not even give us this pittance. Don’t be fooled by their smoke and mirror, this is what pandering looks like, for votes, vote out all Democrats and start with Terry McAwfel,

Tom
Tom
2 years ago

A raise behind the eight ball of inflation!

Mary
Mary
2 years ago

All the ships at California ports waiting to be unloaded has to do with only union workers authorized to work, too many government regulations, and the California governor making rules or else. Biden did not win the 2020 election outright. Obama, Soros, and Zuckerberg won it for him so they could use him to remake America, economy, and repurpose police, and use climate change and virus to give our country to China. Don’t forget open borders, and Afghanistan.

Wanda
Wanda
2 years ago

Communism at work.

Socrates
Socrates
2 years ago

There’s No shortage of truckers! It’s an issue of older trucks Not allowed to cross into CA state line as NewScum & his unhinged Liberal cabal are embracing the Green Deal & want new modern very low emissions in CA & also talk of unionizing the drivers! So the containers sit full not getting to their destination! Feel for them as fuel prices also have jumped 50%! We’re all going to pay!
For any who voted for Biden! Eat it, oh sorry shelves empty! Wake Up ????????

George
George
2 years ago

It seems to me that every “raise” in social security benefits is always offset by a rise in consumer prices or cost of Medicare. It is never just a benefit for seniors.

Lee S McQuillen
Lee S McQuillen
2 years ago

In the years I’ve been on SS, I’ve actually seen one check increase. They give the COLA and then take it away in medicare premiums. And, where is the money coming from for this huge COLA? Not only that, are they sure they can buy the seniors votes with this? Don’t trust it.

Joan
Joan
2 years ago

First their is not a driver shortage. CA will not allow any truck(big rig) over three years old to be in their state or on their highways. The shortage is due to no trucker able to spend 160,000 dollars to upgrade their truck in order to haul a product from the ports of CA. This is the Shortage not a driver shortage. Please get your story straight instead of mimicking the politicians who are ruining America with their stupidity,and idiotic policies benefitting China. The bulk of the solar ingredients are from China as well as the solar panels. Wind and solar are unreliable and will not provide enough power to run the U S. How many dumps are they to fill up with lithium batteries, solar panels or windmills in order to get rid of oil, gas and coal which are more renewable and reliable than the New Green Deal which will put America in poverty. These politicians need to be voted out of office and instead put in people who actually want America to succeed. The politicians are making tons of money off of Chinese solar and wind mills. Do you realize China actually owns the power in Texas that caused the black outs last winter. Is this where we are all headed due to the Chinese influence in our government? This country better wake up or this country is gone.

ShellzNCheez
ShellzNCheez
2 years ago

There is no shortage of workers and there are no regulations in CA that can keep these “stuck” cargo ships from unloading in FL. A fact DeSantis made public knowledge already. But we’re just not seeing them make that move. Hmm.

Johnny Bad
Johnny Bad
2 years ago

We all know that the real problem started on Jan.20,2021. Same day that numerous Executive Orders were signed effectively reversing actions that were effective, and destroyed protocols that were effective. Every decision Biden has made so far has had an adverse effect on our democracy.

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