The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Social Security “Raise”:
Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Oct 29, 2012

As usual, the “good” news comes BEFORE the elections, and the “bad” news comes AFTER.

Social Security officials just announced a 1.7% cost-of-living raise for 2013.

First off, this raise is too small! Social Security just so happens to use a COLA formula that understates healthcare inflation. Yet the older people are the ones worst hit by runaway healthcare costs.

Second, Medicare premium increases may eat up the entire 1.7% raise. Officials know it. According to the government’s own website,, “For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.

Adding insult to injury, this tiny 1.7% raise will bump some elderly and disabled people out of eligibility for social programs.

The qualifying income for state programs seldom adjusts for inflation. So each tiny increase in Social Security pushes a few more elderly and disabled people out of programs like Medicaid and home help. Also, food stamp grants may be cut.

So when states brag about “balanced budgets,” remember this. They are balancing their budgets by throwing older and disabled people to the wolves.