Don't kid yourselves, older people, that if there are to be no Social Security cuts resulting from the current debt crisis debacle, we can thank our government for its kindness. The fact is, we, among the most vulnerable and needy citizens of all, have seen our benefits systematically cut back for the last two years, 2010 and 2011.
How? Because we have received no cost-of-living increases during this period. If you think that doesn't imperil us, you don't know basic arithmetic. For, during that time, rents and maintenance fees have risen dramatically, food and gas prices have soared, and practically everything else has gone through the sky. Overall, the cost of living rose 3.2% in the nation for the period of 12 months prior to April 2011. How can old folks living either entirely or to a great extent partially on Social Security meet these spiraling costs if our meager incomes remain the same?
WE CAN'T! In some of the flowing rhetoric spewing out of Washington, Democrats, supposedly on our side, embellish their orations about the dangers of messing with Social Security with tales of seniors having to choose between medications and food, between real food and cat food.
Mr. and Ms. Senator, Mr. and Ms. Congressperson, some of us are already doing just that. Hey, don't think you're immune. You will not always hold public office, during which all your medical needs are covered. You, too, will get gout, heart disease, cancer, and (you can depend on this) arthritis. Perhaps your jobs selling cars or heading a defunct manufacturing company will have vanished. Then, particularly if you gut Medicare along with Social Security, you'll be in the same boat as us. Think about it.
My advice: Not only should the sorry lot in the Capitol be fighting with every ounce of their privileged beings to RETAIN Social Security as it's always been structured, but you should also fight to get us back those cost-of-living raises retroactively.
In the meantime, may I recommend the Purina Cat Chow Gourmet Chicken?
JOAN WILE -- author of newly-published book,
GRANDMOTHERS AGAINST THE WAR: GETTING OFF OUR FANNIES AND STANDING UP FOR PEACE (Citadel Press, May 2008 -- available at amazon.com and in book stores), which is an account of her founding of (more...)