Friday, October 15, 2010

More Economic Stuff: Congress just screwed the pooch again

No COLAs for Social Security recipients

No jobs for Americans who need them

by Peter Stern

For the 2nd time in 2 years prices used to measure the annual Social Security Benefits COLA dropped. We are told that in 2008 the COLA provided to social security recipients rose 5.8 percent, well above the usual annual COLA increase of 3.8 percent. Supposedly, the next COLA increase will occur in 2012 when the prices most likely will increase to the previous 2008 levels.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is pushing for a $250 one-time payment to help those on social security. It is touted by many as a political ploy in an election year in which Republicans seem destined to win back a few legislative seats lost, thanks to a debilitating economy that shows few signs of the slow recovery promised by Obama and Democrats.

More than 14 million Americans remain unemployed despite the promise of jobs by the new administration. Corporations are continuing to fire employees, as some continue to offer CEO's significant salaries, stock shares and other perks. At a time when jobs and salaries are decreasing, voters are wondering why legislators continue to get taxpayer provided retirement packages and benefits when Congress seems reluctant to create jobs and provide incentives to businesses for hiring Americans. Instead, companies continue to outsource jobs and build manufacturing plants overseas.

It will be interesting to see how much more American workers will tolerate and a measure will be at the polls in November. These days voters are not thrilled with Democrats or Republicans. Corporate greed is still prevalent and so is government intervention in business affairs and in our private lives.

Congress has always moved slowly, if at all, but how much more stagnancy does Congress expect the American people to accept? Corporate America still purchases the best government money can buy. AT&T spent $45 million on campaign contributions and another $25 million on lobbying activities. Legislators are fools to think that the American people will tolerate much more of its "do-nothing" and corporate-friendly mentality. Meanwhile, the 2-party system continues to fail most Americans.

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