Social Security Cost of living adjustments (COLA) are pegged to inflation, which has been negative this year, largely because energy prices are below 2008 levels. For the first time in a generation, inflation will not cause an increase in Social Security benefits. The GOP is blaming President  Obama. President Obama does not set prices or benefits for our sexy Senior Citizens or for the rest of us. If prices are falling, that just might be a good thing for retirees. But, I don’t think so. Many retirees have ever increasing health expenses to just stay healthy.

By law, Social Security benefits cannot go down. Nevertheless, monthly payments would drop for millions of people in the Medicare prescription drug program because the premiums, which often are deducted from Social Security payments, are scheduled to go up slightly. “I will promise you, they count on that COLA,” said Barbara Kennelly, a former Democratic congresswoman from Connecticut who now heads the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. “To some people, it might not be a big deal. But to seniors, especially with their health care costs, it is a big deal.”

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The GOP can push all the ‘blame’ with a shovel! At least 19 states levy an income tax on a family of four living below the poverty level! The states are basically taxing food stamps. Georgia is one of those states.

“Among the states where low-income households’ tax bills rose significantly since 2005 were Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, and North Carolina, all of which rasied taxes on poor families by at least 25 percent.”

Part of the increase in taxes for poverty stricken families comes from inflation which causes ‘bracket creep.’ The GOP Hero, President Ronald Reagan, promised to end bracket creep for all Americans. That promised died when Reagan died.

Details by state and the press release from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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