2009-09-25 / Letters

Democrats Hurting Seniors' Pocketbooks

Dear Editor,

For decades, the Democratic Party has scared senior citizens prior to every election with phony accusations that the Republicans would reduce or eliminate their Social Security benefits. Even while Republican elected officials and party officials have urged fiscal responsibility to ensure that Social Security and Medicare could be stabilized, Democrats have routinely engaged in scaremonger tactics to win elections while unnerving our most vulnerable citizens.

Now we have a Democratic Presidential administration and Democrats control both houses in Congress and here in New York, just about everything else. Now that they have unprecedented, unparalleled control, what is the first order of business? The Democrats have put a freeze on Social Security cost of living increases ("COLA"), the first in 35 years, effectively reducing the income of all SSA recipients.

The Obama administration has put forward its excuses for doing this but it remains that this is the first freeze in 35 years! This is an outrage! At the same time that the Obama administration is asking seniors to swallow this bitter pill, seniors whose average federal remuneration is less than $14,000 per year and are getting zero COLA, federal employees whose average annual salary is $79,000 per year are getting 2% COLA.

Now no one is disparaging the right of hardworking public servants to a cost of living increase but one has to see the disparity here. Where are our local Democratic Congressional leaders in decrying these actions? Is this administration's popularity more important than the financial hardships of their constituents?

The missing cost of living increase could have absorbed most of the increased cost of electricity that the administration's Cap and Trade bill is going to cost us. A 2% increase could help offset the increased health insurance premiums that government-run health care is sure to bring. After decades of hearing that fiscally conservative Republicans were somehow a threat to their well earned benefits, seniors now have to ask our Democratic President and Democratic elected officials why they are the ones hurting senior's pocketbooks and undercutting a promise made.


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