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If I find out my income is remaing the same, why would I be frantic about cutting back spending?

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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:35 PM
Original message
If I find out my income is remaing the same, why would I be frantic about cutting back spending?
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 06:37 PM by RB TexLa
Don't get me wrong it's always a good thing to curb spending, but not getting an increase is not getting a cut in income.





Senior citizens brace for Social Security freeze
BOCA RATON, Fla. Seniors prepared to cut back on everything from food to charitable donations to whiskey as word spread Monday that they will have to wait until at least 2012 to see their Social Security checks increase.

The government is expected to announce this week that more than 58 million Social Security recipients will go through a second straight year without an increase in monthly benefits. This year was the first without an increase since automatic adjustments for inflation started in 1975.

"I think it's disgusting," said Paul McNeil, 69, a retired state worker from Warwick, R.I., who said his food and utility costs have gone up, but his income has not. He lamented decisions by lawmakers that he said do not favor seniors.

"They've got this idea that they've got to save money and basically they want to take it out of the people that will give them the least resistance," he said.

Cost-of-living adjustments are automatically set by a measure adopted by Congress in the 1970s that orders raises based on the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation. If inflation is negative, as in 2009 and 2010, payments remain unchanged.


And here is part of the problem, counting on something that is not guaranteed

Baldwin and her husband mapped out their retirements, carefully calculating their income based on their pensions and Social Security checks. Trouble is, they expected an annual cost-of-living increase.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101011/ap_on_bi_ge/us_soci...
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boston bean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:37 PM
Original message
Maybe their local taxes and possibly healthcare costs are rising.
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. When the cost of living increases and your income does not, it's a net loss.
It's not rocket surgery, yo.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's why the CPI is used. It's based on actual costs.
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Your OP quotes a man as saying his food and utility costs have increased.
While his income has not. It's a net loss for him and everyone like him.

End of story.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. So you think the COLA should be issued on an individual basis?

And people who's costs go down should get a reduction?
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Why should s/he think that? The point is that the seniors who are
cutting back are acting prudently. They don't know exactly what will happen to their costs in the short-term. But they DO know that their incomes won't be rising.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #10
168. Of course we should think that
the government uses general formulas and overall concludes there was no increase. It's like everyone insists that prices overall have increased and the government is somehow wrong. But had no problem with it when the government concluded otherwise in years it did give the COLA. It is in a statute and based on a calculation. It's part of the system.

Everyone is ranting on about how the increase ought to just be automatic, because it feels good, whether or not the statute's parameters are satisfied. It is the ultimate in refusing to deal with this being a nation of laws.

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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. That's not what I said and not what you asked.
The CPI tells one story, but not the whole story.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. There will always be people on both sides of the CPI. Some who get
a COLA when their costs have not risen and in this case some who don't get one when their costs have risen. It's not that there are any different stories. There are always people on both sides of a statistic.

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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Thank you, Captain Obvious.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Sometimes you have to be obvious. n/t
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
28. I have a question for you, RB TexLA....
Do you ever consider those who are different from you?

Do you ever think what it would be like to have someone else's problems?

Does the pain of others ever enter your consciousness?

Really, can you talk about those things at all?
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #28
169. The COLA is set by a federal statute
One that was passed by a Congress and signed by a President. It is called the rule of law.

The executive branch must enforce that statute as is. Until it is somehow changed to create increases regardless of whether prices have increased. Selling that to the voting public may be tough, but you are welcome to try.

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #169
175. It's been gimmicked by GOP over decades .... it lies now ....
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #175
186. Maybe, but that wouldn't mean the administration doesn't have to follow it now
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
193. Exactly
And I don't doubt here in the NE, heating costs will continue to rise... but as you say, that will be balanced in the big picture with people whose costs might even go down.

It's hard on the individuals who get squeezed, but unless we can come up with some way to predict on a micro-targeted level what the COL will be, it's the way we can do this.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
23. self-delete. nt
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 07:01 PM by pnwmom
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
24. Most seniors were fine with the CPI, until it reflected the current deflationary
economy. Now some of them think it should be changed.

Note that no one is talking about lowering S.S. payments, even though the CPI has been falling. They're luckier than millions of out of work American. At least they can count on their income staying the same.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #24
124. costs have gone down -- WHERE?
I really need a vacation in that place -- and a heaping helping of the drugs being used while writing whatever *report* that claims prices are going down.

:wow: :eyes:
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #124
190. Can I live there too?
I second your :wow:
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Gaedel Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #24
152. Not sure
The real question here is "does the CPI accurately measure those things on which seniors must spend?"

Part of the slow growth of the CPI is a result of gas prices falling form their spike. Seniors don't, as a class" use as much gas as people still commuting. Food, medicine, and services make up a big portion of their outgo. Food prices have been steadily growing during this period of "deflation" as have prices for prescription drugs.

FWIW: I am on Social Security.

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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
103. Whose costs have gone down?
I want names.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #103
104. What did you pay for gasoline in June 2008? What are you paying now? n/t
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #104
106. Up. I checked.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #106
107. Um not sure if you are reading that chart right.
June 2008 - 129.7
Oct 2010 - 101.8

a 21% decline.

Why look at 2008 you might ask. CPI peaked in 2008. SS as a result got a 5.8% COLA increase in 2008. In essence prices from the peak of 2008 are "baked in" to SS. When prices decline SS doesn't decline but it does mean it takes more increases to get back to the previous high.
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awoke_in_2003 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #6
195. The CPI is shit...
and does not reflect reality. Food prices are going up. And if they aren't going up, the size of the containers is. Oh, and don't worry about costs going down- they NEVER do. Prices are sticky in the up direction.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. It only works for the "average" person, who doesn't exist.
Real live people will have different costs. Some of those will be lower and some will be higher than the average.
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
74. The CPI numbers are are rigged fantasy.
Every President since LBJ has fiddled with them to make themselves look good.

If you don't believe me, read "Bad Money" by Kevin Phillips.

Here's a small excerpt:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/article473596.ece


Hard numbers: The economy is worse than you know

Kevin Phillips, Harper's Magazine
In Print: Sunday, April 27, 2008


Ever since the 1960s, Washington has gulled its citizens and creditors by debasing official statistics, the vital instruments with which the vigor and muscle of the American economy are measured.

The effect has been to create a false sense of economic achievement and rectitude, allowing us to maintain artificially low interest rates, massive government borrowing, and a dangerous reliance on mortgage and financial debt even as real economic growth has been slower than claimed.

The corruption has tainted the very measures that most shape public perception of the economy:

The monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI), which serves as the chief bellwether of inflation;

The quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which tracks the U.S. economy's overall growth;

The monthly unemployment figure, which for the general public is perhaps the most vivid indicator of economic health or infirmity.

Not only do governments, businesses and individuals use these yardsticks in their decisionmaking, but minor revisions in the data can mean major changes in household circumstances inflation measurements help determine interest rates, federal interest payments on the national debt, and cost-of-living increases for wages, pensions and Social Security benefits.

And, of course, our statistics have political consequences too. An administration is helped when it can mouth banalities about price levels being "anchored" as food and energy costs begin to soar.

(snip)
------------------------------------------------

I could give you a whole litany of things that have gone up the last two years. But there's no "inflation".

Do you realize that the CPI assumes that if the price of steak increases, you'll switch to a cheaper cut, or buy chicken for the same price? So, there's no inflation. Your standard of living goes down, but there's no inflation.


CPI numbers are pure adulterated bullshit.

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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #74
146. +1
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #74
166. That's Why Many Of The Econ Community Started Calculating. . .
. . .True Inflation. It's far more comprehensive than CPI and includes weighting factors for things that are absolute necessities. (Food and shelter being the most obvious, but not the only necessities.)

It's a far more involved calculation and requires iterative analysis to optimize the response of the model. The excuse the government has used for nearly 30 years is that the volatility of certain commodities makes True Inflation too erratic and unreliable.

However, i think the real reason is that it's harder to understand and harder to manipulate.
GAC
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #166
174. Right ... anyone whose electric bill didn't go up wildly this year/summer????
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #174
177. Well, Our's For One.
It went up some, compared to last year, but not very much. For sure it was way higher in July than it was in April, but i don't think that's what you meant.

For some reason, we haven't seen any huge price spikes in utility costs. Gradual price inflation for sure, but nothing that would shock us.

I know many areas of the country did see unit prices spike, so when demand went up the bill really shot up. We didn't see that in Illinois. (At least not in our area.)
GAC
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #177
179. Here on the East Coast it was very hot ....
Our electric bill pretty much doubled over the summer --
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #179
182. That I Get
Edited on Tue Oct-12-10 02:02 PM by ProfessorGAC
I thought we were talking about price spikes at the kW-hour level. Then if you're using a lot of electricity because it's extra hot, you get hit with a double whammy. That happened out west. I was in California last week and lots of people were commenting on how the price per kW-hr. actually went up over the summer, and so did water per gallon. (Or per 100 gallons. However they do the billing.)

So, they got hit with increases even if they DIDN'T use any more. Then if they used extra, the double-whammy thing.
GAC
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #182
184. Actually ...
I don't really see the bills - just going by my husband's comments about it --

could have been both??? Not sure.

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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #184
185. The Opposite Here
My wife sees the bills, but i keep track of pricing on the Citizens Utility Board website. The actual bill my wife sees. She just told me that the electric bill was just barely higher than last year.

So, i know what you mean!
GAC
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
94. Right. On actual costs of things you can live without
Food, rent and energy are excluded.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #94
97. Wrong. Food, rent, energy (various forms), medical costs, services, transportation are all included
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.t04.htm

This if often repeat. Nothing personal but everytime I see it I will just correct it.
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #97
118. Your chart is for wage earners and clerical workers, not retirees.
Who use a lot more medical services and medications than their younger, working counterparts. The cost of medication has been outpacing average inflation for years.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #118
122. Well tell Congress to come up w/ new metric. SS uses CPI-W to determine inflation.
SS checks are fixed to inflation. No matter what the nominal amount of your check says it NEVER will be worth more (in buying power also know as "real" terms) than your first check. Any increase in check simply means inflation has increased by an equal amount.

I do agree that maybe a CPI-S (senior) needs to be developed with different weightings.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #94
109. Where did you (and others) ever get that idea? It's completely wrong.
Food, rent and energy ARE included.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
173. The inflation statistics have been gimmicked and destroyed by GOP over decades ....
and effects ALL of our information/statistics collected by government --

and all of our programs!

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LisaM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
4. Inflation rates don't always account for every sector, either.
I'd have to look up the specifics, but I think somehow that groceries, for example, aren't included, or weren't a few years ago. And they are significantly more expensive than they used to be.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
35. Of course groceries are included. Really, they are. n/t
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #35
101. Oops misread your post.
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 09:52 PM by Statistical
On edit:

To busy correcting people thought you said excluded.

Anyways - modified version

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.t04.htm

You are right groceries are included and so is
* rent
* transportation
* medical costs
* electricity
* gasoline
* heating oil
* clothing
* utilities

and any number of a half dozen misnomers that people claim (never w/ proof) are not in CPI.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 02:26 AM
Response to Reply #101
126. The last time I was back in the States
which was about 4 months ago, I made the following observations about prices in my hometown:

Groceries: Those that I usually buy were almost all UP compared to the previous time. Either that, or the containers/portions were getting smaller.
Rent: Not really relevant to me, but hotel rates were generally up.
Medical costs: Up Up Up
Transportation: That transpacific flight on a US carrier was about $400 more expensive than it was at the same time last year
Electricity-- Basic rate is about the same at the old homestead, but extra charges have been tacked on, resulting in a net increase
Gasoline $2.49/gallon, not much change from the previous time
Heating oil-- the homestead uses gas heating, which has gone up
Clothing-- Older people usually don't keep up with fashion, and usually don't make too many clothing purchases in a year, so buying cheaper clothing made in Honduras or Bangladesh or the Dominican Republic isn't going to make much of a difference in their budgets.
Utilities: Gas- up. Electricity- Up. Trash collection- Up

Also, health insurance-- Up Up Up
Car insurance: Up a bit
Home insurance: Up
Home maintenance services (pest control, lawn mowing, house repairs)-- Up up
Car maintenance and repair costs-- Up

At least the State of Arkansas has reduced the sales taxes on certain items, and has implemented a homestead system for assessing property taxes at a reduced rate for senior citizens.

Nonetheless, even taking these tax concessions into account, for my relatives living on a fixed (retirement) income in the US, costs have gone up far above the official rate.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 07:17 AM
Response to Reply #126
141. However their check received COLA increase for 2008 prices.
Nobody. Not anyone on this board, not the fed, not the BLS (agency that determines inflation) has said prices haven't gone up. They simply haven't gone up to the previous peak.

Prices peaked in June 2008. SS checks were increased (largest increase in history of SS) to compensate. Since then prices have fallen and then risen. In essence June 2008 prices are "baked into SS checks". SS won't see an increase until prices (CPI) goes HIGHER than the previous peak.

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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #141
147. So 2008 prices are "baked into SS checks"?
My mom received an $8 COLA during that time. I'm sure she'll be glad to hear about the (half-)baked COLA.
Not.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #147
148. Then that means her monthly SS check is $86 ($8 / 0.058 = $86)
Edited on Tue Oct-12-10 08:10 AM by Statistical
If the SS check is too small then it is too small and that has nothing to do w/ COLA (Although I believe your recollection as to COLA increase is likely off). The purpose of COLA isn't to make a bad SS check better with time. SS benefits NEVER get better. Never. If SS check rises by a lot it merely means that prices have risen a lot. The buying power remains the same.


Anyone who finds SS isn't enough and thinks it will get better with time (because checks get larger) is fooling themselves. The buying power of SS check never increases.

Since I doubt your mother's SS check is $86 per month if she didn't receive the full 5.8% COLA increase in 2008 she should contact the SSA. Mistakes do happen.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #148
149. I don't believe that my recollection is incorrect
I distinctly remember her complaining that her COLA was a whopping 8 bucks, and that was definitely in 2008 because it was the last time I was in town.
Also, you might want to check your math again-- $8 / 0.058 = $138 (rounded up). But her check is still a little more than that.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #149
151. Yeah your right. Typo on the calculator.
If she is sure her check only went up $8 and her monthly check is larger she should contact SSA.

One thing to note is Medicare part B went up ~$3 in 2008. Many seniors have part B paid from their SS check. So if she saw $8 and has Part B paid automatically it would mean an actually increase of $11. $11 / 0.058 = $189 per month. If those numbers don't look right she (or you) should call SSA. SSA is pretty accurate but mistakes do happen.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #151
156. OK, I'll contact her about that
If she got shortchanged on the COLA, I'm sure she would be more than happy to get it straightened out.
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Silver Swan Donating Member (805 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #141
159. The largest Social Security COLA was in 1980
The increase was 14.3 percent.

The second largest was 1981, at 11.2 percent.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
5. Now Dems are excusing everything.
Anything goes now. I am in shock.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. What are you saying, actually? What are Dems excusing
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 06:49 PM by pnwmom
that is so shocking?

Seniors trying to save money?

The same COLA formula that we've always used, that happens to show the deflation the economy IS undergoing?

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Individualist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
178. The "I've got mine; screw the less fortunate" attitude is despicable.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
7. And the answer is right here:
""They've got this idea that they've got to save money and basically they want to take it out of the people that will give them the least resistance," he said."

Its time we OFFER them big-time resistance.
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Monique1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. I no longer can live in the same manner when I retired
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 06:51 PM by Monique1
Now I am fussy how I shop, how I plan my menus and how I use my electricity. I no longer take trips or go out to eat. In the summer months my computer or TV is my light, no lamps or ceiling lights. I plan shopping so I do not go to the store everyday. I don't shop at the stores that I once enjoyed their quality products. I do not snack except if I have extra veggies or fruits otherwise I go without.

Yes, at my age I do need to save money as I am hitting my savings every month. Actually I'm digging into savings and not saving anymore.

My one luxury is having a small box of organic veggies delivered to my apartment
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. Depending on how old you are, it could be fine to dig into your savings.
Even indulge yourself. But I know that probably goes against the grain. My elderly M.I.L , who has plenty of money, still wants to save -- even though we tell her to spend it all on herself, to do anything she wants with it. This is why she's been saving for a lifetime -- to be comfortable and independent now. But she HATES spending the money.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #14
25. You're lucky.
Many of us who need that COLA aren't eating at all well, and going without needed meds, etc.

The luxury of delivered organic veggies... definitely.

Not that what happens to poor folk actually matters to this party anymore.
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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #25
90. Are you begrudging Monique1's single box of organic vegetables?
surely not?
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
8. Because some of their costs are no doubt increasing.
They're acting prudently. Maybe some of the younger generations could learn from them.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. I save and invest probably 40% of my income. I do not spend.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #16
27. Then you should be positioned very well at retirement.
Provided some DUers don't get their wish of watching the whole financial system collapse in the next few years.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #16
62. Then thank your lucky stars that you are not in the sad fix that so many people are in in this
country.. the richest nation in the world with an obscenely high poverty rate... many of them being elderly and disabled, which you are smugly looking down on because YOU are doing so much better.

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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. Yep, and they're not always things people hear about or that apply
to a larger population.


Like in my area, the cost of electricity will probably go up.

Property taxes.

The cost of using the town dump.

Sometimes the local gas stations (of which there are two within 10 miles) often raise their prices because they can. So that means to get cheaper gas we have to drive farther, which uses more gas.


Sometimes it's the local rising costs that hurt the most.

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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
13. This non-raise has been talked about for many, many months. It should
not be the surprise that so many are making it out to be.

There has been time to make adjustments in the budget. For example, two supermarkets in our small town regularly have two for one sales on stuff that we can use.

And yes, both of us in our house are over 65.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. While seniors search for the two for one sales -
why are we not at least putting Defense on the table for discussion? And why am I having to ask this question on a democratic discussion board? That is yet another rhetorical question ...
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #18
30. No need to search. They are advertised adequately. nt
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #30
80. You ignored what I said about defense spending. Typical. nt
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 04:44 AM
Response to Reply #80
131. Well then, here's a question for you. Isn't it true that spending bills
are originated in the House? And isn't it also true that Democrats have controlled the House since 2007? Government should be doing what many seniors (and others) do - make a budget and live within that budget. It's not that hard.

If these things are true, is it me or someone else that should be scrutinized?

People say they don't like what congress is doing, but the same House members and 1/3 of the Senate goes back every two years, ad infinitum.

People say Johm McCain should retire because he's too old to be in the Senate, while there are 17 who are older. (Refer to preceding line.)
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 06:07 AM
Response to Reply #131
139. Again, complete disregard to the question I posed. DEFENSE SPENDING -
now that Obama is in office no one wants to talk about cutting it. Talk about hypocritical ...
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Gaedel Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #139
153. Because
We are talking about one thing and you want to use the thread for your own pet peeve.

Sort of like talking about election strategies and you cover your ears with your hands and keep posting "It doesn't matter, they will steal it anyway".

It just disrupts the intelligent discourse going on in the thread.

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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #153
160. "Intelligent discourse" is advising seniors to look for 2 for 1 sales -
rather than discuss where all our tax dollars are going (hint: some funds could be used for actually helping people rather than killing them via the military).
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #139
157. Even though "That is yet another rhetorical question ... " here you go.
Spending bills originate in the House. House controlled by democrats since Jan 2007. Defense spending contolled by spending bills originated in democrat controlled house. Why are not Pelosi/Reid talking about cutting defense spending?

At my level, all I can do is vote for a non-incumbent hoping to get a change in the faces that control spending bills. I do not vote for incumbents at the local, state, or federal level. New weasels should have an opportunity to line their pockets.
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #139
158. self delete DU hiccup
Edited on Tue Oct-12-10 11:01 AM by Obamanaut
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #18
31. The CPI has meant increases for seniors for decades.
Few were complaining then. Now it's reflecting a deflationary economy, showing that prices are actually lower. But, unlike the millions of unemployed right now, at least seniors haven't had their payments lowered or lost altogether. They're just not getting raises.

Most Americans are in the same boat, on one side or another. The economy sucks.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #13
26. Smug.
Feel better now?
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Absolutely. One does what one can to get along. Some don't seem
to want others to do that. I think it's like the crabs in the cook pot - they don't want any of the others to escape. Why is that? Misery loves company, do you think?
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Well, then, good for you. I'm very glad to know that looking down your nose at others makes you
feel better.

Sociopathology at its best, right here on DU.
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #32
63. Rather than suggesting there is some nose-down-looking, why not
consider that there are people who can not reconcile themselves to the fact that some of us are not miserable. Some of us do not wallow in the trough of self pity and cast aspersions on all the happy/content ones.

The mirror awaits you.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #63
64. And then there are those for whom suffering and death of others is inconsequential.
We used to call them "Republicans".

Now many of them are smug "Democrats".

I am ashamed to see this kind of selfishness in the party I used to care so much about. :cry:
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #64
67. The guy in the movie "Roadhouse" said it nicely; "Opinions vary." nt
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #67
70. I'm sure your hero would be ashamed of your behavior.
He, at least, wants to promote an IMAGE of caring and concern.

You're blowing his cover, and showing what is behind the curtain.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #29
77. I've known crabs...
who actually enjoyed being miserable in the pot, even if they were the only ones there.

For some of those crabs, it was like a full-time job.


:D
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 04:51 AM
Response to Reply #77
133. And some of them post regularly. And if readers don't respond to their
Edited on Tue Oct-12-10 04:52 AM by Obamanaut
every utterance with praise and thanksgiving, the poster will revile them, telling them they "Don't get it", that they are "not progressive", that they "don't care", or they "should live in my shoes."

It isn't enough that with 300 million people in the US that there will be a variety of different circumstances under which we live, instead we should all live like that poster, and think like that poster, and believe that the writings of that poster are as the tablets of Moses, written by the finger of god.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #133
154. Some of us have hit the discussion board version of the lottery
and ended up on certain posters' "ignore" lists, so we don't have to endure the endless litany of accusations...

:7

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Autumn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
20. I do know one thing, my income is remaining the same
but yet I have had to cut back because some things ARE going up. My health insurance, my car insurance, groceries and my electric bill has gone up, and last year Governor Ritter legislated that we on PERA can't be given our COLA because of losses in the stock market. So it is a cut in our income. They can say inflation is negative, but it isn't in my world.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #20
33. And there are many millions of younger Americans with NO income at all.
They'd probably love to be getting by on Social Security. The youngest, by the way, have no faith that they'll ever be drawing from the system that they'll be expected to pay for -- if and when they ever get jobs.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #33
37. Sure, because they live with their parents still. Medicare peeps don't.
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 07:13 PM by WinkyDink
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. Millions of adult Americans who DON'T live with their parents
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 07:17 PM by pnwmom
and have children to support are out of work. They have problems worse than being denied a cost-of-living INCREASE when the CPI shows that costs are DECREASING.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #40
53. "Young" is the term I addressed. True, everything is relative, but there ARE older Americans in a
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 07:40 PM by WinkyDink
fix, and no job to ever again get a raise in. At least the young(er) have hopes.

OLDER AMERICANS DEPENDENT ON SOCIAL SECURITY DID NOT MAKE THE CURRENT MESS.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #53
108. Most people in their twenties aren't living with their parents,
and most of them have children.

And they didn't make the current mess, either.

People on Social Security at least have had stable payments. They will get a "raise" when the CPI goes up again. And it will. But millions of other Americans of all ages have taken huge salary cuts or have lost their jobs completely.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #40
96. The CPI is bullshit. It leaves out food, housing and fuel n/t
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #96
102. No it doesn't. Often claimed, never supported.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #102
111. Many thanks, Statistical. Facts seem to be sadly missing
in this discussion.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #96
110. No. It includes them. Why do you keep saying that? n/t
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Autumn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #33
42. It's good to be concerned about the young
people who are struggling. I have some young people in my family in that boat. Times are hard all over. For some people, others not so much
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. You're right, Autumn. Times are hard all over. n/t
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
34. Inflation, esp. in health-care (pills, e.g.) and energy (heating oil, anyone?). Taxes. Electricity.
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 07:11 PM by WinkyDink
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. In specific areas, yes, but overall we've been looking at deflation.
That's why the CPI is showing decreasing prices.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. Tell me where these costs have decreased.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Check out the CPI. You can see for yourself. n/t
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #39
98. Easy. Costs have decreased for all the stuff you can live without n/t
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #98
116. The CPI includes housing, energy, food. All things you need. n/t
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Monique1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #38
46. Please tell all of us where prices have deccreased.
While you give examples give the size of the items you buy compared to the last several years.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #46
49. The particular things I buy and their prices have no relevance to you.
But the CPI shows a national average of prices -- it's what matters in this kind of discussion. And the CPI has been going down in the last couple of years -- while S.S. payments have remained the same. They're not going up -- but they're also not going down.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #46
52. Here
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.t01.htm

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. city average, by expenditure category and commodity
and service group

(1982-84=100, unless otherwise noted)


Unadjusted
Unadjusted indexes percent change Seasonally adjusted
Relative to Aug. 2010 percent change from-
CPI-U importance, from-
December
2009 July Aug. May June July
2010 2010 Aug. July to to to
2009 2010 June July Aug.


Expenditure category

All items.................................... 100.000 218.011 218.312 1.1 0.1 -0.1 0.3 0.3
All items (1967=100)......................... - 653.066 653.966 - - - - -

Food and beverages.......................... 14.795 219.539 219.877 1.0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.1
Food....................................... 13.738 219.121 219.491 1.0 0.2 0.0 -0.1 0.2
Food at home.............................. 7.801 215.256 215.382 0.8 0.1 -0.1 -0.1 0.0
Cereals and bakery products.............. 1.108 250.172 249.736 -1.0 -0.2 -0.6 -0.3 0.1
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs........... 1.745 208.989 208.854 2.9 -0.1 1.0 0.3 -0.3
Dairy and related products (1)........... .820 198.991 198.712 3.3 -0.1 0.1 0.5 -0.1
Fruits and vegetables.................... 1.153 265.967 265.914 -0.5 0.0 -1.3 -1.9 0.4
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage
materials............................ .952 161.121 161.764 -0.7 0.4 -0.2 0.6 -0.1
Other food at home....................... 2.023 191.529 192.026 0.4 0.3 -0.3 0.2 0.2
Sugar and sweets........................ .295 201.180 200.335 2.5 -0.4 -1.2 0.6 -0.1
Fats and oils........................... .232 200.506 201.764 0.6 0.6 0.0 0.0 0.7
Other foods............................. 1.496 205.166 205.857 -0.1 0.3 -0.2 0.1 0.2
Other miscellaneous foods (1) (2)...... .439 122.052 121.787 -0.1 -0.2 0.8 0.4 -0.2
Food away from home (1)................... 5.937 225.710 226.422 1.2 0.3 0.1 0.0 0.3
Other food away from home (1) (2)........ .326 159.338 159.517 1.8 0.1 0.5 0.0 0.1
Alcoholic beverages........................ 1.056 223.639 223.536 1.2 0.0 0.1 0.5 0.0

Housing..................................... 41.960 217.076 216.976 -0.4 0.0 -0.1 0.1 0.0
Shelter.................................... 32.289 248.677 248.595 -0.7 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.0
Rent of primary residence (3)............. 5.966 249.126 249.024 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.1 -0.1
Lodging away from home (2)................ .769 143.358 139.999 1.9 -2.3 1.3 0.2 -1.3
Owners' equivalent rent of residences (3)
(4)................................... 25.206 256.395 256.509 -0.3 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.0
Owners' equivalent rent of primary
residence (3) (4).................... 23.593 256.387 256.503 -0.3 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.0
Tenants' and household insurance (1) (2).. .347 125.865 126.463 3.8 0.5 0.2 0.5 0.5
Fuels and utilities........................ 5.081 219.614 219.602 3.3 0.0 -1.2 0.6 0.4
Household energy.......................... 4.028 195.268 194.865 2.7 -0.2 -1.6 0.6 0.5
Fuel oil and other fuels (1)............. .276 261.257 263.196 10.8 0.7 -2.6 -1.6 0.7
Gas (piped) and electricity (3).......... 3.752 200.177 199.632 2.1 -0.3 -1.6 0.8 0.4
Water and sewer and trash collection
services (2).......................... 1.052 171.156 172.491 5.7 0.8 0.2 0.4 0.2
Household furnishings and operations....... 4.590 125.239 125.005 -2.6 -0.2 -0.4 -0.1 0.0
Household operations (1) (2).............. .781 150.747 150.630 0.1 -0.1 0.0 0.1 -0.1

Apparel..................................... 3.695 115.248 116.667 -0.4 1.2 0.8 0.6 -0.1
Men's and boys' apparel.................... .903 109.670 110.229 -0.5 0.5 2.3 -0.2 -0.1
Women's and girls' apparel................. 1.580 100.659 102.702 -1.2 2.0 0.2 1.4 -0.3
Infants' and toddlers' apparel............. .196 112.882 113.245 -0.4 0.3 0.8 2.2 -1.3
Footwear................................... .721 125.212 125.656 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.2 -0.5

Transportation.............................. 16.685 193.038 193.454 4.9 0.2 -1.0 1.3 1.2
Private transportation..................... 15.497 188.028 188.616 4.8 0.3 -1.0 1.4 1.3
New and used motor vehicles (2)........... 6.386 97.620 97.891 5.1 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4
New vehicles............................. 3.573 137.323 137.119 2.3 -0.1 0.1 0.1 0.3
Used cars and trucks..................... 2.012 146.379 147.909 15.5 1.0 0.9 0.8 0.7
Motor fuel................................ 4.525 234.642 235.690 4.7 0.4 -4.1 4.4 3.9
Gasoline (all types)..................... 4.337 234.091 235.110 4.4 0.4 -4.5 4.6 3.9
Motor vehicle parts and equipment (1)..... .401 137.236 137.646 3.1 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.3
Motor vehicle maintenance and repair (1).. 1.167 247.536 248.390 2.0 0.3 0.1 0.0 0.3
Public transportation...................... 1.187 257.337 254.717 6.6 -1.0 -0.5 -0.8 -0.2

Medical care................................ 6.513 387.898 388.467 3.2 0.1 0.3 -0.1 0.2
Medical care commodities (1)............... 1.611 314.113 314.881 3.0 0.2 0.0 -0.2 0.2
Medical care services...................... 4.902 410.710 411.182 3.2 0.1 0.4 0.0 0.2
Professional services..................... 2.796 328.899 329.318 2.8 0.1 0.4 0.3 0.2
Hospital and related services (3)......... 1.619 604.291 605.859 6.3 0.3 0.6 -0.4 0.5

Recreation (2).............................. 6.437 113.689 113.521 -1.1 -0.1 0.1 -0.1 -0.2
Video and audio (2)........................ 1.894 99.244 98.852 -2.6 -0.4 0.4 -0.4 -0.5

Education and communication (2)............. 6.434 129.586 130.599 1.9 0.8 0.1 0.2 0.0
Education (2).............................. 3.035 198.206 201.476 4.3 1.6 0.4 0.4 0.0
Educational books and supplies............ .200 504.856 504.635 3.0 0.0 0.8 -0.2 -1.4
Tuition, other school fees, and childcare 2.835 569.750 579.833 4.4 1.8 0.4 0.4 0.1
Communication (2).......................... 3.399 84.703 84.699 -0.3 0.0 -0.2 0.1 0.0
Information and information processing (1)
(2)................................... 3.225 81.535 81.532 -0.4 0.0 -0.2 0.1 0.0
Telephone services (1) (2)............... 2.392 102.471 102.534 -0.1 0.1 -0.1 0.2 0.1
Information technology, hardware and
services (1) (5)..................... .833 9.399 9.381 -1.2 -0.2 -0.5 -0.2 -0.2
Personal computers and peripheral
equipment (6)....................... .246 75.912 75.798 -3.5 -0.2 -0.4 0.4 0.2

Other goods and services.................... 3.483 383.247 383.685 2.9 0.1 0.4 0.7 0.3
Tobacco and smoking products (1)........... .871 819.214 822.662 7.7 0.4 1.0 1.6 0.4
Personal care.............................. 2.612 207.025 207.042 1.3 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.2
Personal care products (1)................ .688 161.372 161.337 -0.7 0.0 -0.2 0.8 0.0
Personal care services (1)................ .642 230.519 230.354 1.2 -0.1 0.1 0.1 -0.1
Miscellaneous personal services........... 1.048 354.533 355.429 3.0 0.3 0.1 0.5 0.2

Commodity and service group

Commodities.................................. 39.816 173.503 173.925 1.7 0.2 -0.4 0.5 0.5
Food and beverages.......................... 14.795 219.539 219.877 1.0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.1
Commodities less food and beverages......... 25.021 149.116 149.558 2.1 0.3 -0.6 0.9 0.8
Nondurables less food and beverages........ 15.044 187.006 187.890 1.9 0.5 -0.8 1.3 1.4
Apparel................................... 3.695 115.248 116.667 -0.4 1.2 0.8 0.6 -0.1
Nondurables less food, beverages, and
apparel............................... 11.349 235.935 236.498 2.6 0.2 -1.7 1.9 2.0
Durables................................... 9.978 111.555 111.587 2.3 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.4
Services..................................... 60.184 262.241 262.421 0.8 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.1
Rent of shelter (4)......................... 31.942 259.115 259.015 -0.7 0.0 0.0 -0.1 0.1
Tenants' and household insurance (1) (2).... .347 125.865 126.463 3.8 0.5 0.2 0.5 0.5
Gas (piped) and electricity (3)............. 3.752 200.177 199.632 2.1 -0.3 -1.6 0.8 0.4
Water and sewer and trash collection
services (2)............................ 1.052 171.156 172.491 5.7 0.8 0.2 0.4 0.2
Household operations (1) (2)................ .781 150.747 150.630 0.1 -0.1 0.0 0.1 -0.1
Transportation services..................... 6.060 261.054 260.944 3.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1
Medical care services....................... 4.902 410.710 411.182 3.2 0.1 0.4 0.0 0.2
Other services.............................. 11.347 310.033 311.443 1.8 0.5 0.2 0.3 0.0

Special indexes

All items less food.......................... 86.262 217.857 218.147 1.2 0.1 -0.2 0.4 0.3
All items less shelter....................... 67.711 208.469 208.925 2.0 0.2 -0.3 0.4 0.4
All items less medical care.................. 93.487 209.664 209.952 1.0 0.1 -0.2 0.3 0.3
Commodities less food........................ 26.078 151.754 152.182 2.0 0.3 -0.6 0.9 0.7
Nondurables less food........................ 16.100 189.196 190.025 1.9 0.4 -1.0 1.4 1.3
Nondurables less food and apparel............ 12.405 233.710 234.212 2.5 0.2 -1.6 1.7 1.8
Nondurables.................................. 29.838 203.471 204.111 1.5 0.3 -0.9 0.8 0.9
Services less rent of shelter (4)............ 28.243 286.238 286.775 2.5 0.2 -0.1 0.1 0.2
Services less medical care services.......... 55.282 250.605 250.766 0.6 0.1 -0.1 0.0 0.1
Energy....................................... 8.553 212.372 212.663 3.8 0.1 -2.9 2.6 2.3
All items less energy........................ 91.447 220.316 220.619 0.9 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
All items less food and energy.............. 77.708 221.258 221.551 0.9 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.0
Commodities less food and energy
commodities............................ 21.276 142.864 143.206 1.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1
Energy commodities........................ 4.801 237.602 238.702 5.1 0.5 -4.1 4.0 3.8
Services less energy services.............. 56.432 268.655 268.903 0.7 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0
Purchasing power of the consumer dollar
(1982-84=$1.00).......................... - $ .459 $ .458 - - - - -
Purchasing power of the consumer dollar
(1967=$1.00)............................. - $ .153 $ .153 - - - - -

1 Not seasonally adjusted.
2 Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
3 This index series was calculated using a Laspeyres estimator. All other item stratum index series were calculated
using a geometric means estimator.
4 Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
5 Indexes on a December 1988=100 base.
6 Indexes on a December 2007=100 base.
- Data not available.
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #52
55. WTH? How is this an answer to "where", which adverb requests a "place"?
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #55
58. the place would be the United States. I thought that was understood.
sorry.

"Here," was directing you to the statistics.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #58
65. "The United States" is a doofus reply. CLEARLY the context meant WHERE IN the United .
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 07:48 PM by WinkyDink
States. As in: Your town, maybe? Not my area, I assure you.

My Capital Blue-Cross has increased. Doctor-office co-pay has gone up.
The food prices have increased (why I use coupons and read ads).
My cable and newspapers have raised their prices. (I know these are not necessities, but if the CPI ignores these, what good is it?)
Electricity rates have increased exactly 30%.
Clothing/shoes/accessories, all higher.

No kids here, so no knowledge of items child/school-related.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #65
71. That is the place the statistics are from. I'm sorry, but I really thought that was understood.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #71
86. The obtuseness here is not on my part.
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 09:14 PM by WinkyDink
Are YOU in the United States?
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #65
117. It's not a "doofus reply" unless you don't understand the
concept of "averages." Those prices represent national averages, not your personal costs or even those in your town or state.

And you're also not comparing to the costs of 2008, almost 3 years ago, when the CPI was at a peak. Current S.S. payments are based on that peak. They won't go up till we exceed 2008 prices.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #46
82. Gasoline. 1 gallon in June 2008 was $3.68. 1 gallon today is $2.69
That is one example.

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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #38
60. Gas was $4.00 a gallon back in 2008, now it is under
$3.00, the same goes for heating oil.
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #36
93. Deflation? WTF?
EVERYTHING has been going up in price the last few years...a box of cereal, a half-gallon of orange juice, a pound of coffee, insurance, medical costs, transportation, tuition, clothing...WTF is off that list?

Oh, wait, you can get a brand-new Lexus for 5% less than three years ago, so that makes up for everything. :eyes:
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
41. CPI:
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 07:22 PM by WinkyDink
FOOD AND BEVERAGES (breakfast cereal, milk, coffee, chicken, wine, full service meals, snacks)
HOUSING (rent of primary residence, owners' equivalent rent, fuel oil, bedroom furniture)
APPAREL (men's shirts and sweaters, women's dresses, jewelry)
TRANSPORTATION (new vehicles, airline fares, gasoline, motor vehicle insurance)
MEDICAL CARE (prescription drugs and medical supplies, physicians' services, eyeglasses and eye care, hospital services)
RECREATION (televisions, toys, pets and pet products, sports equipment, admissions);
EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (college tuition, postage, telephone services, computer software and accessories);
OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES (tobacco and smoking products, haircuts and other personal services, funeral expenses).
Also included within these major groups are various government-charged user fees, such as water and sewerage charges, auto registration fees, and vehicle tolls. In addition, the CPI includes taxes (such as sales and excise taxes) that are directly associated with the prices of specific goods and services. However, the CPI excludes taxes (such as income and Social Security taxes) not directly associated with the purchase of consumer goods and services.

The CPI does not include investment items, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and life insurance. (These items relate to savings and not to day-to-day consumption expenses.)

http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.htm#Question_7
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Missing: children's clothing; shoes; lunch food, fruits, vegetables; appliances; health insurance.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. Thank you! n/t
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #41
95. Give it up...who you gonna believe--RB's statistics, or your lying eyes?
:dilemma:
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #41
105. shoes, lunches, fruits, vegetables, appliances, and health insurance are all included.,
The list provided in the FAQ wasn't intended to be exaustive.

The CPI is complied from roughly 80,000 product classes.

Everything you named is included in the survey.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.t04.htm
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BlueCheese Donating Member (897 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
44. Whether or not there should morally be an increase...
... in this case nobody is trying to "take it out" of seniors. The decades-old formula says that there should be zero COLA this year. It's not like they're supposed to be getting something and someone took it away.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. exactly
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #47
54. So there really was a point hiddetn in your buffoonery...
So there really was a point hidden in your buffoonery... I'm surprised.

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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. You're right. And this wasn't a decision of Congress. This was just a result
of the same formula we've been using for decades reflecting the economy around us -- we are in a RECESSION, with a deflationary economy.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #48
50. While I grasp the math, I'm not 100% sold on its truthfulness, coinciding as it does with our
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 07:29 PM by WinkyDink
current economic mess.

IOW: It saves the govt $$ by claiming there is a formula-driven (so scientific!) reason for not increasing the COLA.
How conveeenient, says the Church Lady.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #50
84. So why did CPI cause a 5.8% increase in 2008 under a Republican adminstration.
Note that was the single largest SS increase in the history of the program.

Funny thing these conspiracies. When CPI was going up gangbusters from 2000 to 2008 nobody seemed to hate the system.

Now we have a period of deflation (and SS checks are protected from ever falling) and it is all a big scam.

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/colaseries.html

2000 - 3.5%
2001 - 2.6$
2002 - 1.4%
2003 - 2.1%
2004 - 2.7%
2005 - 4.1%
2006 - 3.3%
2007 - 2.3%
2008 - 5.8%
2009 - 0.0%
2010 - 0.0%

Total compounded COLA increases from 2000 to 2008 was 31.4%.

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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #84
85. Because it wasn't the economy, stupid, at that point?
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #85
91. I thought CPI was just a scam to minimize SS checks...
why would the largest increase in history of SS happen under Bush if it is a made up number.

Do you know how much money the govt could have saved if CPI had been 2.5% or 2.8% instead of 5.8% in 2008?

The belief that CPI is a made up number ONLY when it means no larger checks is a pathetic case of selection bias.

If CPI in 2011 results in a 11.9% increase in SS checks will the same people deride it as a made up number? I doubt it.

High CPI = good
Low CPI = fake, stealing from seniors, corrupt number.

Just kinda funny that the single largest increase (both in single year and over 8 years) occured under Bush.
Guess Bush loved those poor senior citizens huh? Conversely Obama hates them?
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #85
99. But the economy is in a recession now, deflation is happening,
and that's reflected in the CPI.

I don't think it's suddenly become unreliable now that the Obama administration is in office.
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southernyankeebelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
51. Just think if these people who are bitching had their money forced into
the stock market. They would have nothing to bitch about. All these idiots need to do is look at the people who lost their 401ks. Wise up. At least they are still getting their money. I started getting social security and I make less than $800 a month. I have never rec'd an increase. I'm not bitching. We have to do our part. I am sure many are getting some other type of pension to go along with their social security. Grow up old people. I am ashamed of your selfness you are showing.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #51
57. "We have to do our part." Oh, so now it isn't the math or facts; it's PATRIOTISM?
TELL IT TO THE BILLIONAIRES.
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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
56. I get tired of hearing seniors talk about being on a fixed income,
They have received COLA increases since the 70's. The formula called for an increase and they got an increase the last couple years we had deflation and their payments didn't go down they remained the same in addition to that they got a $250 check. Now just how many people that work in this country get a COLA? We gave up our COLA way back when concessions first started the late 70's. The working people in this country haven't kept up with inflation for decades now. Now before you flame me I am retired and I get SS myself. I don't pay into SS and Medicare, since I don't work I don't pay city taxes were I worked and I don't pay Union dues.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #56
59. Um, the majority of SS recipients WERE "working people."
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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #59
69. Did I say they didn't work? How many of them got a COLA
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 07:59 PM by doc03
every year when they worked? How many people that still work get a COLA every year. Like I said I gave up COLA way back in the Raygun Administration and the middle class hasn't kept up with inflation for years. The formula that they have used for decades doesn't call for a COLA yet they still got a $250 payment. If I remember right I think my mother got $200 in 2008 as part the Bush tax refund on top of a 5.8% COLA. Like I said I am retired and receive SS myself but I don't want to change the rules for COLA because for the second time in like 40 years it didn't increase.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #56
66. Think about it ...a bit longer. Figure you paid out of your wages for "Savings Account"
for your Retirement and the Government assured you that if inflation rose the amount of your payments would rise...and given that you paid part of your wages since you got your first SS Card you knew that money was invested for you and would grow through good times and bad and that was YOUR contract with the GOVERNMENT.

Suddenly "Banksters" on Wall St. wipe out everyone with "Dot Com Bubble" and latest Bubble making your Home go up in Price and causing many folks to believe their HOME was a Cash Register printing out Money and that Cable TV was convincing everyone to "FLIP THIS HOUSE" and that the whole country (aided by their Government was keeping interest rates low so Wall St. and Real Estate Interests could hoodwink you and Cheat You) UNTIL THE PLUG WAS PULLED!

Say a bunch of Hedge Funds and Mortgage Companies in Collusion created a GLOBAL HOUSING BUBBLE...and then when the BUBBLE IMPLODED they ALL got their GOVERNMENTS TO BAIL THEM OUT with TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS..

Then the Governments say to folks who paid into their INSURANCE POLICIES FOR DECADES...and PENSIONERS who were PROMISED their Investments would ALWAYS BE SAFEST are now not sure of any money being there for them.

And, Now the Banksters and Wall Street are looking forward to their Christmas Bonuses in the Millions and More...and those who thought they had an honest CONTRACT with the GOVERNMENT and their PENSION FUND MANAGERS...are NOW asked TO TAKE ANOTHER CUT!

Think about that.......
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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #66
73. Cut what cut the COLA formula didn't call for a raise. You can't
have it both ways you get a raise when the inflation goes up when it goes down you don't get a cut, sounds like a fair deal to me. I wish I would have received a COLA every year when I was working.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #73
79. So did I but I was paying into my SS ACCOUNT...it was Guarenteed..
but, neither my job nor salary was....
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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #79
114. There was no guarantee there would be a COLA
when there is no inflation. When inflation goes up you get a COLA and when you have deflation your benefit doesn't go down sounds more than fair to me. Some working stiff has to pay into SS to give seniors a raise every year even when the formula doesn't call for one while he hasn't received a real raise in decades. Now if the President wants to give them a one time cash payment like last year I could go along with that. It would have been a good idea to try for it a couple weeks ago to force the Rethugs to filibuster it.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #79
120. Your SS is "guaranteed"* however it is a fixed retirement.
Under SS you benefit NEVER increases in real term (adjusted for inflation). Many people just glance at that statement without understanding it. Your benefit amount will NEVER increase in real terms no matter how long you live.

SS is indexed to inflation. So when SS rises it isn't to give seniors a little bit more it is because inflation requires a little bit more to keep the benefit EXACTLY the same.

Example:
Your SS check is $1000 (2010 dollars). Next year there is 3% COLA. So your check is $1030 (2011 dollars). Are you richer? No. Can you buy more? No. The reason you got 3% is because average price of products and services rose 3%. Adjusted for inflation your $1030 is worth $1030/1.03 == $1000 in 2010 dollars.

No matter how much the nominal amount changes you can never get ahead of inflation. So SS promises you that you will NEVER have more than $1000 a month in buying power. The nominal amount may be $100,000 that simply means that prices have increaed 10,000%. Adjusted for inflation you still have only $1,000 in buying power.

Now as a protection SS never goes down. SS should have gone down last year. CPI was a negative 0.4%. What that means is it will take 0.4% price increase to get "back" to 2008 levels. Once prices rise beyond 2008 PEAK SS will start getting COLA again however once again buying power will never change.

So you are guaranteed* (not really congress "could" take it away at anytime) a fixed income in real terms. Nothing more.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 05:53 AM
Response to Reply #120
135. True....but I will be glad to have it...given the Crookedness of Wall Street...
It's the best savings plan around..
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #135
140. I agree I just think some people have unrealistic expectations.
A "guaranteed" increase every year regardless of current inflation would be one of those unrealistic expectations.

Hell even millionaires like the idea of SS. There are plenty of poor people who were once millionaires. SS benefits everyone.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #66
119. Except no one's asking seniors to take a cut. They're just not getting a raise.
Their current payments are set to 2008 levels. Why? Because that's when prices were at their peak, as evidenced in the CPI. Since then, prices have begun to go up but they still haven't returned to their peak. If payments were solely based on the CPI, they would have been LOWERED. But they weren't, they were allowed to remain stable. OTOH, they won't be going up until the CPI is higher than it was in 2008.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #56
89. Why? It's true, isn't it?
I mean, it's not the same as when someone has a job and can work overtime to pay an unexpected bill.

COLA raises only cover whatever a person pretty much knows he's going to face during the month. And it's not that huge. Yeah, it attempts to cover the rising cost of living, but it still doesn't address the inability of people to cover extras they would pay for by working overtime.



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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #56
115. You're right. Working people's incomes haven't been keeping up
with inflation. It's not that we're picking on older people.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
61. Yeah....I guess I wouldn't be too upset, either. What ARE these folks complaining about?
:eyes:

:sarcasm:
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #61
100. They can always sell their scooter chair!
Maybe then they'll be thankful for everything the Dems have fiercely advocated for them.

Oh . . and :sarcasm:
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
68. All these older leeches probably watch "American Idol," too!
Edited on Mon Oct-11-10 07:50 PM by WinkyDink
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
72. The CPI is GD lie
Everything from transportation costs to insurance to medicine to food to heating and utilities have gone up. All of it. It is also interesting to note that the same government brain trust that was unable to see the financial crisis impending until the day it happened seem able to project the CPI years in advance. Amazing, really.
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Autumn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #72
75. I agree with you on that,
it's very amazing.
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #72
78. Excerpt from Kevin Philips "Bad Money".
http://www.tampabay.com/news/article473596.ece

Hard numbers: The economy is worse than you know

Kevin Phillips, Harper's Magazine
In Print: Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ever since the 1960s, Washington has gulled its citizens and creditors by debasing official statistics, the vital instruments with which the vigor and muscle of the American economy are measured.

The effect has been to create a false sense of economic achievement and rectitude, allowing us to maintain artificially low interest rates, massive government borrowing, and a dangerous reliance on mortgage and financial debt even as real economic growth has been slower than claimed.

The corruption has tainted the very measures that most shape public perception of the economy:

The monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI), which serves as the chief bellwether of inflation;

The quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which tracks the U.S. economy's overall growth;

The monthly unemployment figure, which for the general public is perhaps the most vivid indicator of economic health or infirmity.

Not only do governments, businesses and individuals use these yardsticks in their decisionmaking, but minor revisions in the data can mean major changes in household circumstances inflation measurements help determine interest rates, federal interest payments on the national debt, and cost-of-living increases for wages, pensions and Social Security benefits.

And, of course, our statistics have political consequences too. An administration is helped when it can mouth banalities about price levels being "anchored" as food and energy costs begin to soar.
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Autumn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #78
81. It's pretty easy to realize that it's much
worse than what we are told.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 05:55 AM
Response to Reply #78
136. Yep...the truth of it. n/t
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #72
87. CPI is calculated in real time. and prices have gone up but not to the peak in 2008.
June 2008 the CPI hit a peak. SS checks were adjusted upwards 5.8% (highest in history of SS). Now since then prices have fallen and then rebounded but we haven't exceeded the price peak from June 2008.

Those prices are in essence "baked into" SS checks. When prices fall SS checks don't decline but that means more time until they start growing again.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #72
88. Thank you. It is clearly a way to save federal $$.
IMHO.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #88
92. So why did CPI jump 5.8% under Bush administration (2008)?
Did Bush care more for seniors than Obama?

Funny how CPI is only a scam when the increases are low or small. I don't remember anyone crying it was a scam when the single largest increase in SS checks occurred in 2008.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #88
121. No. It is clearly a result of the same CPI formula we've been
using for 40 years.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #72
112. They have gone up in the last 2 years. BUT they still haven't
reached their 2008 high -- and that high was the basis of current S.S. payments. Until we exceed that 2008 high, S.S. payments won't be rising again.
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Individualist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #72
163. Absolutely!
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Riley18 Donating Member (883 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
76. When your income is stagnant and the essentials of life keep getting more
expensive then you have a diminished quality of life.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #76
113. S.S. payments are stagnant because the CPI peaked in 2008 and declined
after that. Until prices return to 2008 levels or above, there won't be any increases in S.S. payments.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 02:49 AM
Response to Reply #113
128. Shrub eliminated the baseline to hide inflation.
I know you might be forgetful but perhaps the term "Fixed Market Basket" might ring some bells.

The government has been screwing with this since forever (greatly accelerated under Raygun/41 of course) but it was the misbegotten turd and his house servant that finally removed the baseline entirely.

Now we all know that you are pretty comfortable and dislike anything that threatens to rock your boat, but the fact is that millions of seniors that were struggling then are desperate now and have just been handed another "fuck you very much" by this "Democratic" administration.

Try to have some compassion.


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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 03:05 AM
Response to Reply #128
129. Please see post 125, below.
Edited on Tue Oct-12-10 03:12 AM by pnwmom
I am helping to support my mother, whose only income is S.S. So I am acquainted with the needs of that age group. And I don't begrudge them one cent of their Social Security and Medicare benefits. However, there are millions of younger Americans who have lost their jobs or had to take great cuts in pay. The whole country is suffering -- it's not that we're picking on seniors.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 03:56 AM
Response to Reply #129
130. Yes, it is exactly that they are picking on seniors.
And if you bother to read up on how the CPI has been skewed you might begin to understand just what has been happening. Read up on the CPI as it is calculated today.

It doesn't matter that the price of a new car has declined when you're eating bologna & day old bread to survive and you've stopped taking your meds so you might be able to make it to the next check. The price of gasoline has not gone down except if you're a statistician that compares it to the highest speculation driven spike in history so you can keep your job.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" - Upton Sinclair

The seniors are one of the few groups they can pick on (veterans are another) because of a half century of political assholes stealing from the SS trust fund to finance their own careers by paying off their donors.

Oh, and seniors are not only desperate and pissed, they always, without fail are the most consistent voters, so unless the Democrats believe they will all die before November, this is just another in a long list of completely avoidable fuck-ups.


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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 05:57 AM
Response to Reply #130
137. Well said...!
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 06:04 AM
Response to Reply #130
138. Some of the blame belongs to the voting public. From your response
"...because of a half century of political assholes stealing...."

If we consider how long some of the members of congress have been members of congress it is us, the voters, voting for 'the name you know' who hsve kept a lot of those members in congress for a good portion of that half century.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #138
161. Sure it does, similarly it is the responsibility of a mugging victim that decided to take a stroll
through Central Park on a nice night. (S)he certainly made a bad choice, but far more responsibility lies with the mugger.

The theater of U.S. elections ensures that any "choice" the voter gets is limited to 'acceptable' candidates. We have two teams playing a zero-sum game and both teams are owned by the same interests.

The fact that, occasionally, somebody with the means to make an initial run for public office gets through (like DU's newest member) doesn't alter the fact that, by and large, the 'choices' available will make little difference to the average constituent. Nor does it change the fact that they (he) has to turn to millions that are not his constituents for the necessary funding to stay in office, while he has to fight off both team's attacks on his 'radical notions' that the system is in need of major changes.

So we are left with no realistic alternatives. We, average people, simply cannot fund 924 (the entire House and 1/3 of the Senate) campaigns every two years while our taxes are used to finance the forces aligned against us, and the PTB set this system up specifically because of this.


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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #130
143. The price of gas certainly has gone down.
What planet are you living on?

It doesn't matter what caused prices to go up what matters is prices DID go up in 2008 and as a result SS saw the single largest increase. Prices are below that peak. While in recent month prices have risen



" this is just another in a long list of completely avoidable fuck-ups."
It is Obama fault for not creating hyper inflation. If we had 40% inflation SS checks would rise by 40% of course everything in the store would cost 40% more. One can never get "ahead" with SS. If check increases it only means that prices have increased. In real terms (adjusted for inflation) every single one of a retirees checks (from first to last) is worth exactly the same.
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Individualist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #130
167. Hear, hear!
The essentials - groceries, medical care, utilities - have gone up and are continuing to go up. I've already cut back on my dosage of prescription medicines. I guess the "I've got mine; screw the poor" want me to start skipping meals now.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #167
176. That is exactly right.
But these people specialize in ignoring reality, they seem to believe (or are paid to pretend) that a spreadsheet can accurately reflect the reality of individual lives.

Statistics are a valuable tool, but the key is in the analysis and when that analysis is done with a specific conclusion in mind, they are worthless. The most basic principles of data analysis have been thrown out the window in order to drive a narrative that flies in the face of personal reality. They think/hope that the people living that reality are so stupid that they will simply accept that narrative and go away.


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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #128
142. Utter BS. Shrub changed inflation calculations and in 2008 ....
we saw the single largest increase in SS checks in the history of the program.

Yup that makes a lot of sense.

Prices are below the 2008 peak. SS checks have 2008 peak prices "baked in". There won't be another increase until prices exceed the 2008 peak. Now the way fed is printing money and devaluing the dollar that likely will happen in 2011 however if we fall into a deflaitonary cycle it could be years or even decades before prices breach the 2008 peak.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #142
164. We also saw the total collapse of the entire economic system.
Edited on Tue Oct-12-10 01:29 PM by Greyhound
As a statistician you are certainly aware that unique datapoints far outside the norm cannot be used in an analysis of the overall set.

The old "Bill Gates walks into a room full destitute people, and suddenly everyone in the room is rich" analogy comes to mind.

ETA; "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair


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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
83. it really is. hubby hasnt had pay increase in three years. cost have gone up significantly. less
money coming in. might as well be a cut in pay.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
123. uhh, have you been in a grocery store lately?
PRICES for basics are going UP. Gas prices are going UP. Winter is coming, and power companies all over the country are trying to RAISE prices -- so those seniors who get NO cola are actually LOSING more because everyone else seems to be raising prices.

SS recipients LOST last year with no increase - and will lose MORE with the price increases going on now. It's simple math - SS recipients are getting hammered with this move. Did you see any Congresscritters turning away from THEIR increases this year?

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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #123
125. Their last COLA increase was for 2008.
Edited on Tue Oct-12-10 01:32 AM by Statistical
Prices are lower than the peak in June 2008. In essence June 2008 prices are "baked in" to current SS checks.

When prices fell in late 2008 early 2009 SS checks didn't decline. So while prices have been increasing the aggregate price of consumer goods hasn't exceeded the June 2008 peak.

The gasoline chart shows the trend:

http://66.70.86.64/ChartServer/ch.gaschart?Country=Cana...
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #123
170. The government follows a formula from a statute which is the law of the land
And has concluded differently.

It's not such a simple question that one individual's overall impression is used.

They don't consult me or you, they use a formula which probably does allow for methods to make it as accurate as possible.

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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #170
188. acurate -- that's debatable -- but it DOES have a use
To claim they are controlling *costs* on the citizens who don't have the tools to fight back. THAT is disgusting and certainly is NOT change we can believe in.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 02:33 AM
Response to Original message
127. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator.
 
pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 04:50 AM
Response to Reply #127
132. No payments are being reduced. Why do you keep saying that? n/t
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 05:33 AM
Response to Reply #132
134. It's called an equation.
It doesn't matter which side of the equal sign you play with as long as you do the same to the other.

Claiming that costs have not gone up when they have is exactly the same as reducing income.


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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #134
145. Nobody is claiming costs haven't gone up.
Cost HAVE gone up but they haven't gone up as high as the 2008 peak. SS received a COLA increase in 2008 of 5.8% as a result 2008 prices are "baked into" SS checks.

SS checks don't decrease when CPI-W decreases (as it did from 2008 to 2009). If they did one would see SS checks decrease in 2009 and then rise in 2010. However to protect seniors SS checks never decrease what that means however if that the 2009 increase is offset by 2008 decrease. Once prices are higher than 2008 SS will get a COLA increase.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #145
162. Ignoring what has happened is the basis for this argument.
COLAS are tied to the CPI and every administration since it's inception has successfully worked to skew the CPI to "show how well their policies are working". And since ShrubCo. removed the baseline entirely, and barring further sudden disasters, there can never be any significant rise in the CPI.


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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #162
187. The largest CPI increase in recent history (last 30+ years) happen in 2008 under BushCo.
Nobody claimed they were rigging the deck then.

Kinda funny if Presidents can stack the deck.

Largest COLA increase ever under Bush.
Obama deflation and low inflation.

right now are economy needs some modest inflation. So that would show policies are working. So despite both presidents being able to "rig the deck" they both failed at it. bush showed excessive inflation and Obama showed poor inflation/defaltion. The CPI indicates both Presidents policies (so far) are a failure. Kinda funny if they could rig it they would chose to make themselves look bad.

Maybe just maybe that is just a bunch of utter BS and they can't rig it. Maybe our recovery is faltering because we are hovering on the inflation/deflation line. Maybe Bush didn't want a 5.8% COLA increase but he had no choice.

Nah. conspiracy theories are so much more fun.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #187
189. Again with the completely disingenuous 'truthiness'.
You keep trying to use a single, unprecedented disaster, the collapse of the financial structure caused by blatantly criminal (except that the criminality was legislated by and for the perpetrators) activity, as support for this predetermined narrative.

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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #134
171. It's flat wrong to say that payments have been reduced.
They haven't been, no matter what you "call an equatiion."
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #171
181. The result is the same, thus the equation.
You want to stick to semantics? Fine.

The CPI is not reflective of the costs relevant to the majority of SS recipients, there has been significant inflation in the prices of what they actually buy. Therefore, SS payments remaining flat while real costs rise yields the same result. Further, they would have reduced payments had it been possible, but through an inexplicable oversight in the law, that is not possible, so we get more irrelevant/weighted data to justify this obscenity.

But I suspect you know that already.


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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #127
144. No SS check has been reduced. Ever.
Despite deflation from 2008 to 2009 SS has a mechanism in place that ensure checks will only rise.

However the flip side of that is that prices are now (even w/ recent rise) still below the 2008 peak priced in. So while SS may not decrease it will take longer before it increases.
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ThomasQED Donating Member (423 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #127
155. What does "spoken like a true Texan" mean?
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #155
191. Go live there, you'll quickly understand. n/t
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ThomasQED Donating Member (423 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #191
192. I did.
Edited on Tue Oct-12-10 04:58 PM by ThomasQED
I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that it wasn't just an insult. Can you clarify?
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #192
194. Not on this board.


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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
150. Remember COLA is backwards facing.
SS checks increase (or don't) in 2011 based on inflation in 2010. This means there is a time gap. Say we have record inflation 8% in 2011. SS checks will increase by 8% however it won't be until 2012. That doesn't do someone much good making ends meet in 2011.

I would say it is prudent to cut spending especially if SS is the primary (or only) source of support. If one has sufficient cash reserves he/she can "Ride it out" but sadly many Americans have little to no other retirement savings/pensions/annuities/etc.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
165. Agree, cost of living increase is for when the cost of living increases
If it has not, then one can spend the same! This whole thing is ridiculous. The economy has been sluggish. Prices have not gone up.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
172. Because it's a political FREEZE ... we still have inflation and rising costs of living ....
PLUS I would guess that within most families there is increased financial

stress from trying to aid others in the family unit who are jobless -- and

or trying to cope with medical expenses and rising health insurance costs!


This is a Depression taking a toll on the WHOLE family unit -- the extended family --

and the entire "Family of man," as it used to be put!

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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #172
183. No it isn't you claim is 100% false.
Edited on Tue Oct-12-10 02:01 PM by Statistical
We had 1.4% inflation this year after 1.6% deflation last year.

CPI i still below 2008 levels. Since SS checks weren't cut 2.3% last year they won't be increased this year.

There was no legislation passed, no "politicial freeze". Prices simply are not as high as 2008 peak. Note this isn't saying prices haven't risen. They have ~1.4% compared to previous year however previous year declined 1.6% so current CPI is still below the peak.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-12-10 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
180. Ever not get a Christmas bonus you were expecting?
If so, I'll bet you were pretty frantic about cutting back your spending on gifts that year.
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