Association of Mature American Citizens seeks a 1% solution to the current economic plight of seniors
May 25, 2016
(SitNews) Washington, D.C. - Just in time for the celebration of Older Americans month, the U.S. Social Security Administration's Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin called Social Security an "anti-poverty program." But the National Council on Aging points out that "over 25 million Americans aged 60 and over are economically insecure."
"These older adults struggle with rising housing and health care bills, inadequate nutrition, lack of access to transportation, diminished savings, and job loss. For older adults who are above the poverty level, one major adverse life event can change today's realities into tomorrow's troubles," according to the NCOA.
Medical costs went up; food costs went up; just about everything went up in cost, but because low gasoline prices kept the Consumer Price Index (CPI) artificially low, no Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) was provided to seniors relying on their earned Social Security benefits.
Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, said one of the principal reasons AMAC came to be is to "protect, preserve and enhance" Social Security benefits for older Americans.
"Our rally [last] week in Florida drew hundreds of seniors who were expressing their dismay at the government's decision to forego Cost of Living payments for seniors. The decision was catastrophic for some elderly individuals and their families. One estimate indicates that current monthly benefits are barely enough to sustain 33% of the senior households in the United States. The costs of essential expenses, in fact, leave many elderly Social Security recipients deeper in debt at the end of the month. Opting to forego a COLA is not consistent with an effort to reduce poverty among older Americans."
Weber noted that while the government ensured pay increases for its employees this year, it "ignored the plight of seniors by denying COLA assistance. It is only the third time in four decades that this has happened, but it comes at a time when medical costs, food costs and the costs of heating and air conditioning and other necessities have increased sharply, leaving the elderly with hard choices to make."
He said that AMAC has been pursuing a one-time fix via bi-partisan legislation, The Seniors Act, H.R. 4140. "We paid our money into Social Security; the government didn't put in one cent. Just because they mismanaged our money by only paying us 2% interest- is no excuse for us not to get a Cost of Living increase this year," Weber declared.
We are not trying to overturn the no-COLA decision, he said, we simply seek a one-time payment equal to a one-percent Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment. The cost is estimated to be between $9 and $11 billion but will be offset by an equal amount of federal spending cuts.
The bill's sponsors, Representatives Kyrsten Sinema, (D-AZ) and Frank Guinta (R-NH) and AMAC are "aggressively" seeking passage of the measure and now we need action in Congress and exhortations from America's senior citizens and veterans who are urged to call on their lawmakers to move the bill along in a timely manner-before winter sets in."
Weber urged seniors to "let their voices be heard. Congress is frozen like an ice cube when it comes to taking action on Social Security, and the only way we can get them to act by applying heat. We've made it easy; just go to http://amac.us/cola/ to send a prepared email to your Congressman. All you have to do is fill in your name and address and it will automatically be sent to your Representative."
The following member of Congress have shown their support already: Rep. Kilmer, Derek C. [D-WA-06], Rep. Frank Guinta [R-NH-01]—Lead Republican, Rep. Webster, Daniel [R-FL-10], Rep. Sinema, Kyrsten [D-AZ-9]—Lead Democrat, Rep. Fincher, Stephen Lee [R-TN-8], Rep. Gibson, Christopher P. [R-NY-19], Rep. Nugent, Richard B. [R-FL-11].
According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security is the major source of income for most of the elderly. The average monthly Social Security retirement benefit for 2016 is approximately $1,295. Checks can be more or less or even reduced due to pensions.
To earn the highest retirement amount of Social Security which is $2,366 monthly, today's workers during their working years will have to earn $106,800, each year after age 21, to be eligible for a $2,366 monthly Social Security retirement check.
Monthly Social Security benefits were first paid starting in January 1940. Today, workers pay 6.2 percent of their earnings into the Social Security system, up to $118,500 in 2016. Employers pay a matching 6.2 percent for each worker. Self-employed workers must contribute 12.4 percent of their income annually.
You pay Medicare taxes on all of your wages or net earnings from self-employment. High-income earners also pay an additional 0.9 percent in Medicare taxes on earnings above certain amounts.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
Disclaimer: The editor receives significantly reduced SS benefits. Still required to pay 12.4 percent of earnings into the SS system annually as self-employed although classified in the reduced benefits category.
Source of News:
Association of Mature American Citizens
Social Security Administration
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