Plenty of seniors might disagree with the government’s assessment that their living costs haven’t gone up, but there will be no cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits in 2016. More than 60 million people get those benefits. A lot of them also depend on Medicare — and wouldn’t you know, about a third of Medicare beneficiaries could see their premium costs go up by as much as 50 percent unless Congress intervenes. Is this a broken system? What needs to be done?
I couldn’t believe that Social Security recipients will get no raise this year. Social Security recipients have worked their entire lives paying into this fund and many are still working and paying into the fund.
Now we are letting 85,000 refugees into this country. When does this stop?
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I only hope that whomever we elect as our new president puts Americans first.
Wendell Nelson, Fort Worth
If the system is broken, our lawmakers played a big hand in making it so. It’s been raped so many times. But if it is broken, it can be fixed.
In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law and he did it by taxing the rich. The politicians in Washington don’t have the guts to do such a thing.
The elite and big corporations have so much money, and they should spend some of their riches to help fix our broken system.
James Summerhill, Aledo
You do the math. Early next year I will have reached a ripe but healthy age of 67 and been retired for two years.
Past Social Security recaps indicate that I have paid about $110,000 into Social Security and about $30,000 into Medicare. So, if I live another 20 years, I will receive about $500,000 from Social Security, which seems fair.
But what’s not fair is how much I will receive from Medicare. For example, due to a one-day checkup at the hospital, a common knee surgery as an outpatient and normal trips to the doctor, I have now cost Medicare more than $100,000.
And, by the time my kids toss my ashes over the Rockies, it’s probably going to cost you taxpayers another million dollars. Now that’s a broken system.
Patrick Jenkins, Arlington
When a person signs up for Medicare, the cost of Part B should be frozen at that amount and never be raised. Medical cost is a large factor in a person’s ability to maintain a reasonable lifestyle,
William Myers, Granbury
So often our political representatives fail to look at the big picture. They never connect all the dots. They cite the reduction in gas prices as the main reason to not increase Social Security for 2016.
Did they consider that seniors, for the most part, do very little driving? Sometimes I drive for a month on a tank of fuel. Many of my friends drive hybrids.
Out-of-control medical costs and senior care are our biggest fears. Now they want to increase the Part B contribution from $109 to $159 for new Medicare participants.
Sometimes I think that it might be better for seniors to give their money away and go on government entitlement programs such as welfare, food stamps and housing and utility assistance. They get their increases every year.
Ron Bernier, Granbury
Some say that we’ll get no cost-of-living increase this year because of lower gas prices. This an unpredictable scenario. Prices can fluctuate as much as 25 cents per gallon overnight.
And if you’re now joining Medicare, it’s going to cost a higher hefty entry fee. We’re encouraged to work until 70-plus, and receive a higher benefit, then give it to Medicare?
People receiving less than $1,000 should receive an increase, no matter what. Can the powers who decide what we receive live on that?
Joe Rodriguez, Arlington
We seem to have plenty of money to send to other countries but can’t provide for our own people who have spent years paying into a fund that our political leaders have raided. Give the politicians credit, though. They have become experts at justifying their actions.
They are done with the seniors, and the sooner they die off, the more money they can spend on new votes for their party.
They use gasoline as the justification for no increase, but I don’t hear a guarantee that gasoline will not increase next year. It’s almost a given that gas prices will increase and the seniors will once again be playing catch-up.
Wyman Bess, Roanoke
The cost of living for seniors is not, and has never been, reflected in the consumer price index used to adjust Social Security benefits.
What needs to be done would require a Congress and president willing to tell the truth. The truth is that seniors spend much more on healthcare and for services they can no longer perform than does the general population.
To reflect this would make it far too obvious that Social Security is in dire straits and it must be adjusted to become fiscally secure.
Gardner Davis, Granbury
The 60 million people on Social Security should remember that members of Congress gave themselves a raise as the cost of living near the Capitol was very expensive, and the six-figure income they receive from our taxes wasn’t enough to cover it.
Yet they feel that $9,000 to $15,000 is enough for 60 million seniors to live on, plus the rise in the cost of our medical care, when members of Congress have some of the best in the country.
I hope that all 60 million people on Social Security remember this when they go to the polls. Sixty million voices may be a little more than they bargained for.
Gail Henry, Arlington
A main reason cited for no cost-of-living increase in 2016 in Social Security benefits was the low cost of gasoline.
The gas price, up or down, has very little impact on the cost of living for most seniors receiving Social Security checks.
Most of us are using a quarter to a third of the gasoline we used while we were working.
Our cost of living should be based on the price of groceries, medical care, prescription and over-the-counter medicine, vitamins and utilities.
If need be, we can control our use of gasoline, but very little can be done with basic needs.
Bunn Butler, Granbury
Living costs have risen, no doubt about that. Prescription medications are through the roof.
Another hard hit on seniors is the ridiculous taxes on their homes, in particular, the school tax!
If they raise the premiums on Medicare, that’s just another hard hit seniors must face.
I don’t know exactly who is responsible for this “war on seniors,” but I think we should vote out whoever is responsible.
Pat Adkins, Fort Worth
The liberals believe that what’s “fair” is that everyone gets the same thing, regardless of whether they paid into it.
That which needs to be done to fix this will cause a great outcry. And the politicians don’t like to see those crying whose votes they depend on.
Leadership that governs via wisdom and strength is what we need. But is it too late?
Eva Snapka, Arlington
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