With the consideration of altering the CPI calculations format, negative impacts upon cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for Social Security beneficiaries, both present and future, is a distinct possibility. My impression when I cast my ballot back on Nov. 6 was that Social Security was completely "off the table" in current and future budget negotiations concerning the so-called "fiscal cliff."
Now, this seems that is not so.
I already opposed the previous lowering of the FICA rate, used to support Social Security and Medicare, by 33 percentfrom 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent, realizing that what was then termed a "temporary payroll tax holiday" could very easily become a permanent fixture. That is exactly what it is becoming, a permanent fixture, further supporting the arguments for permanent reductions in the "social safety net."
Do we have a commitment to our seniors, or don't we? I feel as though the senior citizens of the United States have been and will continue to be "thrown under the bus" for the sake of resolving our federal budget problems. As a former director of a regional area agency on aging, and an active advocate of causes for the elderly, I intend to be very vocal about these issues and am determined to keep as many senior citizens, senior groups, and senior organizations very aware and wary of what is happening.
David A. Argenta
Former director, Region 10 Area
Agency on Aging