Protect the vulnerable

By Linda Imhauser

In 2016, for only the third time in 40 years, Social Security recipients and veterans will receive no Cost of Living Adjustment. By some miracle of accounting, our government claims there is no inflation. They certainly don’t consider how most seniors actually spend their money. The costs of all necessities are skyrocketing and they are increasingly unaffordable. Such things as food, health care, drugs, utilities and rent aren’t included when inflation is calculated.

While the cost of gas has gone down, seniors don’t save much as they don’t drive much, and they’ve gotten almost no interest on their savings for many years. The majority of seniors receive most or all of their income from Social Security, and they depend on small increases to keep up with rising prices.

To remedy this injustice, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has introduced a bill called the Seniors & Veterans Emergency Benefits Act. The bill would provide a one-time 3.9 percent payment to Social Security recipients and veterans in 2016. To pay for this, Sen. Warren proposes the closure of a tax loophole that allows corporations to write off obscenely high executive bonuses as a business expense. (Corporations can also write off, as a cost of doing business, the enormous fines they receive for fradulent practices and wrongdoing.)

New York’s senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, support this bill. To support it, you can sign an online petition at ElizabethWarren.com, Moveon.org or Credoaction.com. Several hundred thousand people have signed the Moveon petition. We always seem to have money to wage wars, and can give big tax breaks to profitable businesses, but we don’t protect our most vulnerable citizens.

Linda Imhauser


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