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Seniors Feel Social Security Pinch, Prepare to Cut Back on Food (Wall St. Bonuses Increase)

This post first appeared on Daily Kos. The catfood commission, blithely attempting to hack away at Social Security benefits, needs to consider what even "minor" cuts mean in reality.
BOCA RATON, Fla.—Seniors prepared to cut back on everything from food to charitable donations to whiskey as the news 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..... More than 58.7 million people rely on Social Security checks that average $1,072 monthly. It was the primary source of income for 64 percent of retirees who got benefits in 2008; one-third relied on Social Security for at least 90 percent of their income.
Fifty percent of U.S.-based financial services professionals expect this year's bonuses to exceed last year's, according to a new poll. Of this group, 19 percent expect bonuses will exceed last year's payout by at least 30 percent, the survey by eFinancialCareers Global Bonus Expectations Survey. Thirty-four percent say personal performance will be the main reason for the larger paycheck.
But gawd knows we can't restore Clinton-level taxes on these people. Cost-of-living adjustments are automatically tied to the Consumer Price Index. But the Consumer Price Index doesn't take into account all the other factors in the economy facing seniors--loss of equity in their homes, decimated stock portfolios for those who had them. While Congress can't easily address the COLA issue for this year, at least one Senator is arguing for a short-term fix. Sanders will push for a one-time $250 payment to seniors and disabled persons that would at least help them stretch their food and utility budgets.
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