For Immediate Release
Older Americans Blast Congress Over a “Zero” Social Security COLA for 2011 -- and the Inaccurate, Unfair CPI that Created It!
October 14, 2010 (Washington, DC) — RetireSafe, a 400,000-supporter strong national advocacy group for older Americans, today blasted Congress for again failing older Americans by keeping in place a flawed government consumer price index (CPI) to measure inflation for the annual Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) for retirees. For the second year in a row that faulty CPI has produced a “zero” COLA for Social Security beneficiaries. Said another way, Social Security checks will not be increased until at least January 2012. “This is clearly wrong, and Congress must be held accountable,” said RetireSafe President Thair Phillips.
“While Congress as a whole has failed to correct the bogus CPI/zero Cola problem again, several Members of Congress are working hard to achieve a fair solution,” he added. “United States Representatives John “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr. (TN-2), Daniel Lipinski (IL-3), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Michael Arcuri (NY-24, Gregg Harper (MS-3), and Zachary Space (OH-18) have all stepped up as leaders for seniors by sponsoring H.R. 5305, the CPI for Seniors Act,” Phillips said. “This legislation would finally mandate a broad-based senior-specific CPI that accurately gauges the soaring expenses faced by older Americans,” he continued.
Phillips noted, “An accurate government CPI would give seniors a fair COLA each year, allowing them to keep up with their ever-rising costs in health care, food, and energy. Any fool can see that those costs will be increasing in 2011, and yet retirees are once again left out in the cold,” he said. “And then there are the insulting efforts to buy off seniors with another token payout from Congress,” Phillips went on. “While that may be well-intentioned and surely helpful, why not fix the CPI used for this purpose and the COLA resulting from it once and for all,” he urged. “Congress should pass H.R. 5305, the CPI for Seniors Act, and give older Americans a fair Social Security COLA every year,” Phillips stated. “That’s what seniors were originally promised, and that’s what they deserve,” he concluded.