so $1.000 a month has grown to $1,361.14 a month by 2012.
Now some might think that is a huge growth, and think that if it was reduced to $1,300 that that would not really be a "cut". Because, after all $1,300 is still more than $1,000.
But that is not what really happens. Consider, for example, the price of gas. In 2000, gas was selling for, let's say $1.25 a gallon. (I think it was less, but it was increasing from the low of 89.9 in late 1999 and I remember it increased just in time to hurt Gore in the election even though it was probably higher than $1.25 when Clinton was elected in 1996. I remember that too, because it was right when I bought my 2nd car in 1996 and gas was about $1.30.
Anyway, that $1,000 in 2000 would buy you 800 gallons of gasoline. By 2012, $1,000 would only buy about 300 gallons of gasoline.
The same is true, although I cannot remember prices, of things like bread and milk and any number of other items. Some items held steady. For example, I remember buying a Trek bicycle in 1990 for about $300 and then a new one in 2002 for $300 and then another one in 2004 for $275 (because they had a sales tax holiday)
However, it does appear that past COLAs for Social security have been beating the rate of inflation. At least for the period from 2000-2012. The $1,000 growing to $1,361.40 beats the inflation rate of $1,333.3. Or, put another way, the real value of $1,361.40 in 2000 dollars is $1,021.11.
But the COLA has probably not been keeping up with the increasing costs of food, gasoline and medicine.