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Warren writes: "Three weeks ago, the Social Security Administration made a quiet announcement. Next year, for just the third time since 1975, seniors who receive Social Security won't be getting an annual cost of living increase. Neither will millions of other Americans whose veterans' benefits, disability benefits, and other monthly payments are pegged to Social Security."

Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Getty Images)
Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Getty Images)

CEOs Got a Raise. Seniors and Veterans Deserve One Too

By Elizabeth Warren, Elizabeth Warren's Blog

10 November 15


hree weeks ago, the Social Security Administration made a quiet announcement.

Next year, for just the third time since 1975, seniors who receive Social Security won’t be getting an annual cost of living increase. Neither will millions of other Americans whose veterans’ benefits, disability benefits, and other monthly payments are pegged to Social Security.

Two-thirds of retirees depend on Social Security to pay for the basics, to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads – but seniors who usually get a small boost on January 1st won’t see an extra dime next year. That’s why today, I’m introducing the Seniors and Veterans Emergency (SAVE) Benefits Act – a one-time payment equivalent to a Social Security benefits increase of 3.9%.

Help us show Congress that America’s seniors and veterans need a boost on January 1st. Sign up right now to show your support for the SAVE Benefits Act.

Why give seniors and veterans a 3.9% Social Security boost? Well, times are tough for America’s seniors – but they aren't tough for everyone. According to recent data, CEOs at the top 350 American companies received, on average, a 3.9% pay increase last year.

But here’s the kicker: taxpayers like you subsidize huge pay packages for CEOs through billions of dollars in giveaways, including a crazy loophole that allows corporations to write off obscene executive bonuses as a business expense for “performance pay.”

Our new SAVE Benefits Act would give seniors and veterans a benefits boost without adding a single penny to the deficit simply by closing that performance pay loophole. In fact, closing that tax loophole would create enough revenue to give seniors and vets this 3.9% emergency boost and still have money left over for the Social Security Trust Fund to help extend the life of Social Security.

Think about what this change would mean. A one-time 3.9% Social Security payment is worth about $581 a person next year – a little less than $50 a month. For someone barely scraping by on a $1,250 Social Security check each month, $581 would cover almost three months of groceries, or a year’s worth of out-of-pocket costs for a Medicare beneficiary’s prescription drugs. According to an analysis, that little boost could lift more than 1 million Americans out of poverty. That’s a big deal.

This is about choices. We have the money to do this – only right now that money goes to fund a loophole that benefits corporate CEOs. We could use exactly that same money to help out seniors and vets – and make the Social Security system more stable. For me, it’s pretty straightforward: Our spending should reflect our values. your social media marketing partner


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+6 # bardphile 2015-11-10 23:27
This idea would help a lot of people who really need it--and a lot of people who don't. (I'm in the latter category--at least for now.) The young folks coming of age now have it rougher than us seniors, on the average. I'd rather see the relief go to unemployed vets who got suckered into running up high-interest debt to attend for-profit colleges. They need it more than us oldsters.
+8 # warrior woman 2015-11-11 07:26
I'd like to see ALL of the students who have debt piled on them and who are sinking by its weight to get relief. I can name many of my children's friends who are one blip away from losing everything, including putting food in their mouths due to the crushing weight. We have to help them all, not just some.
+3 # bardphile 2015-11-11 11:13
Point well taken.
+16 # futhark 2015-11-11 03:48
Point 1: Social Security is not a government giveaway. It is a return of money invested in the government in trust that it will be returned as a retirement annuity. That the rate of return should be adjusted to a cost of living index is just good sense.

Point 2: Spreading the wealth of the nation instead of giving tax breaks to the rich is the "tide that lifts all boats", to use the Reaganomics catch phrase. People with more disposable income buy more goods and services, stimulating the whole economy.
+22 # backwards_cinderella 2015-11-11 05:20
Last year's "raise" didn't mean diddly squat since the raise in our Medicare premiums ate it up. Some of us LOST money because of that. We need a HUGE raise. & we need to have our Medicare premiums eliminated completely.

But it's not just SS, it's everything. Transportation has been gutted, so those of us depending on public transportation will be walking. I expect to see a reduction in SNAP & everything else that poor people depend on.

It's time that the military complex is dismantled & our corporations are made to PAY THEIR TAXES. Or it is going to get very ugly in this country.
+3 # futhark 2015-11-11 10:30
"Last year's "raise" didn't mean diddly squat since the raise in our Medicare premiums ate it up."

What huge raise? I'm still paying the $104.90/month, same as last year (and 2013, for that matter) for Medicare Part B.
+6 # jdd 2015-11-11 06:11
Yes, this is only the third of 0% increase since automatic COLA in 1975. What is not stated in that all three have been during the presidency of Barack Obama. He is the only president in the modern era who dared deny this benefit to our most vulnerable citizens, but because of party politics, (he claims to be a Democrat) there was, as in the wars he has started, very little protest.
+2 # Sweet Pea 2015-11-11 07:00
Canada anyone?
+7 # RLF 2015-11-11 07:08
This is a great example of the effects of the crappy fixed system of measuring inflation by the fed. No fuel or food prices go into deciding what inflation is...but heating the home and feeding themselves is basically all the people dependent on SS do! The statistics of the US government are not trust-able. They have been fixed since Ronald Raygun.
+2 # jdd 2015-11-11 07:31
See my post. Sorry, during the Reagan era SS COLA increased more than 50%. Obama is the only president to deny an increase. The only.
0 # RLF 2015-11-12 08:13
Raygun, being of SS age treated it well but fudged stats for his economic agenda. Remember his favorite..."Wag e Inflation" aning regular people got a raise. Where was CEO wage inflation?
+4 # Skyelav 2015-11-11 08:13
Now how do we change minds? I find if I take an issue at a time the average voter will agree with much of what I say and think about the rest. I am exhausted with the lack of morality -- the fake morality of the right and the ignorance and even the liberals can't seem to pull us up. They have spent the Ss fund -- it's gone --and are actively privatizing Medicare through "advantage " or Med complete " plans and lying about the coverage. Go to Wally World where they are eager to privatize everything and listen to the sales people sell those policies. Meanwhile the Aarp is promoting them. Ask medical billers about Aarp backed policies. Costs for these private Medicare tag on policies have cost us as much as 14% more per person. Cost of living has been going up since 2011. Everything suggested is merely a patch. Sad
+11 # Robbee 2015-11-11 09:16
thanks senator warren; i submitted my support for the bill you propose!
+7 # tanis 2015-11-11 09:54
Here, here! Better diets, better education, better transportation (public) and better lives will strengthen the U.S. More real sense from Senator Warren.
+5 # Polisage 2015-11-11 10:26
The 3.9 percent for CEOs is not just a "one-time" payment -- it goes into their base bad ripples through future years. Disabled vets should get the same kind of benefit -- as should seniors. Put it into the base of their benefit. Those who can't drive get little benefit from lower fuel prices when the cost of transportation goes up due to labor and equipment costs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics should compute a CPI-D for the disabled that takes into account medical and other costs, and use that to index disability benefits for vets and SSDI. Thank you Senator Warren -- keep up the fight.
+1 # WaaDoo 2015-11-11 10:45
I understand Elizabeth, Take from the rich and give to the poor. OK, that's your theme and mission. As Conservatives we get it. As a senior, I also understand, but disagree with the specific method.

How about this instead. Congress stops giving itself a raise, and changes the benefits it receives that are so different from the taxpayers. The self-indulgence removed from Congress would cover cost of living raises easily.
+6 # bardphile 2015-11-11 11:27
You have the germ of one good idea here. All levels of government, from POTUS on down to local agencies, should have to depend for their retirement on SSA like everybody else that isn't rich. And all income should be subject to SSA tax. Many local governments opted out of SSA back in the 70's and 80's, to the detriment of recipients as well as state governments and ultimately their taxpayers. Congress should lead by example and strengthen SSA so that we're all in it together, confident that it will be there when we, and our children and grandchildren, need it.
+1 # RLF 2015-11-12 08:14
How about just making the rich pay the same percentage as I do (working poor).
0 # geraldom 2015-11-12 10:50
Quoting RLF:
How about just making the rich pay the same percentage as I do (working poor).

Or more!!! Prior to Reagan, the rich were paying 90% on their income over a certain amount from the Franklin Roosevelt era and it didn't seem to hurt their standard of living any and many more people who weren't rich seemed to live a very comfortable life here in these United States.
0 # geraldom 2015-11-12 10:40
Elizabeth Warren should have thrown her hat into the Democratic presidential ring when she had the chance. Bernie Sanders is not strong enough to win against Hillary. He refuses to attack Hillary on her false domestic, financial, and national security agendas, even in a diplomatic manner, speaking truth to power.

I also feel that Sander's foreign policy agenda is a lot closer to Hillary's (militaristic) than it would be to Elizabeth Warren's, most especially when it comes to Israel.

Just today on Democracy Now, I heard that Hillary Clinton had publicly stated her unswerving hardline support for Israel without ever mentioning anything about what Israel is doing to the Palestinian populations in both Gaza or the West Bank, and even certain powerful progressive organizations are now befriending Netanyahu. Reference the Democracy Now program that aired today, Thursday, Nov 12th:

Move scroll bar to the 12 minute mark and then watch and listen.

Reference the following RSN article:

As far as Social Security is concerned, Obama and the Democrats have once again seceded to Republican demands in order to avoid a govt shutdown and the beginning of the end of Social Security and Medicare may well be on its way.

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