Greatest generation becomes greediest generation

To placate cranky seniors, the Obama administration wants Congress to send out $250 checks to all Social Security recipients. The checks would be in lieu of cost-of-living increases, which SS recipients are not scheduled to receive. Why not? Because the economy is in the toilet, and there is NO inflation.

For the first time in more than three decades, people who rely on Social Security and federal pensions will not get an increase in their monthly benefit checks because consumer prices have stagnated lately in the weak economy, the government announced Thursday.

The twin statements, by the Labor Department and the Social Security Administration, came less than a day after President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress tried to salve the impact on older and disabled Americans by saying the government should provide $250 payments to 57 million people who depend on Social Security, pensions, or disabled veterans benefits.

The cost-of-living adjustment is supposed to reflect actual increases in prices; it’s not supposed to be an entitlement in itself. But seniors have come to expect it, and because they vote in large numbers, the Obama administration is trying to keep them happy.

Andrew Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and former deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration under the Republican administration of President George W. Bush, said: “There is essentially no substantive case for this on policy grounds. . . . This is a case of both Democrats and Republicans bending over backward to do the politically popular thing for seniors.”

Meanwhile, senior citizens are also unhappy because cost-cutting in health care reform bills could squeeze the subsidies they receive in Medicare Advantage, which pays for such things as gym memberships and blood pressure machines. When did the Greatest Generation become the Greediest Generation?

165 comments Add your comment

joe matarotz

October 15th, 2009
12:45 pm

Inflation may be zero across the board, but the price of food has skyrocketed.The answer to your question, Cynthia, is they didn’t become the greediest generation. You are just a leading member of the ignorant generation. Someday you’ll be trying to make ends meet on a fixed income. You can pull out a copy of this particular blog and reread it. Then maybe you’ll understand.

Pat Phelps

October 15th, 2009
12:53 pm

How dare you. Most of these people were working to make this country the greatest on earth while you were still soiling your diaper. You sit back with your liberal buddies and destroy everything these people have built in this country.

If you want to show outrage over an entitlement program start with government run health care and you can end with welfare. Oh, but you can’t do that because those are the people that keep electing you idiot liberals.

Davo

October 15th, 2009
12:55 pm

Tucker and her fellow affirmative action hero Obama like to dismiss the previous generation. It’s not like they saved the world from Hitler, or put a man on the moon, or actually had the foresight to save money so their spoiled brats could go to college and learn to burn flags.

They paid into it, they deserve every bit of the pitence they get out of it. Greedy…ya w/e, not much of an insinuation from someone as shallow as Tucker.

Thought Well

October 15th, 2009
12:56 pm

I guess you will never reach seniordom Cynthia. It will be sooner than you can believe. I am one of those “greedy” seniors who finds the things I spend money on, like food and medical costs are rising sharply.
The fact is I have to eat less or cheaper quality food and do without some doctor visits because they are too expensive.

BLong

October 15th, 2009
1:11 pm

Ms. Tucker seems surprised to find that entitlement programs lead to an entitlement mentality. Of course, in Ms. Tucker’s world, greed is always someone else’s desire to get ahead.

TheOne

October 15th, 2009
1:13 pm

Cynthia, first of all your referring to older people as “cranky old seniors” is akin to Imus’ calling the woman’s Rutgers basketball team “nappy headed ho’s”. You should be ashamed of yourself. Different stereotype, same lack of class.

Putting that aside, why is it that your desire for entitlements is selective? Not long ago you posted a blog (and wrote an editorial in the AJC, about which, by the way, I submitted a scathing letter to the editor that was printed) stating that illegals should be covered by universal health care. If that’s not an entitlement, I don’t know what is. Now you criticize the “entitlement” mentality of those seniors who helped make this country as great as it is because they want their adjustment. Please, show some consistency in your opinion.

And I’m sure those “cranky old seniors” (and let’s not forget greedy) were held in high regard by you after they STUPIDLY helped get your man in office. So don’t be so quick to turn on them, Ms. Tucker. They may be cranky, but they don’t forget.

Caveman

October 15th, 2009
1:14 pm

It’s amazing that reich wingers are all for government handouts as long as they are the ones with their hands out. You should have been responsible for your own retirement rather than relying on productive working people to pay your bills. Stop trying to steal even more of my hard earned money you senior parasites.

Pat Phelps

October 15th, 2009
1:17 pm

Caveman – I tell you what. Tell the government to stealing money from my taxes and I will not hold my hand out at retirement. Until then, I was forced to pay in against my will, I want back what was stolen from me.

TheOne

October 15th, 2009
1:18 pm

Hey Dingbat Caveman, it was a Democrat who came up with Social Security. Either go back to your cave or go back to your Geico commercial!

Thought Well

October 15th, 2009
1:44 pm

Really funny Cynthia. Because of higher costs for food and doctor visits I had to give up my subscription to the Atlanta Journal Constitution for the first time.

Phyllis Bearden

October 15th, 2009
1:51 pm

When my mom who is 89 complained to me about not receiving the cost of living increase in 2010, I pointed out that people I know are losing jobs, and the employed ones are not getting any raises – only cuts to their salary. Yes, food is more expensive, and my family has cut way back on anything but necessities. Most people I know are on a fixed income and we’re facing a non-retirement because we have 401k’s and no pensions. So, I’m afraid the economy has rained on all parades, even people slightly older than me.

DirtyDawg

October 15th, 2009
1:56 pm

It’s interesting that ‘thought well’ brought up the AJC subscription. I too have given up mine because for the first time in my experience they were not willing to discount their published price. Strange strategy when they are faced with shrinking advertising dollars that are based on circulation.

So Cynthia, if you don’t think it’s costing seniors more to live these days, you ain’t payin’ attention. Oh yes, you also must not have an American Express card that just increased their APR by some 20% – along with their annual fee – for their ‘flexible’ charges. Don’ t know who’s keeping track of the Cost of Living Index but they ain’t giving enough weight to the bonuses in the banking industry either…which reduces ’shareholder value’ to seniors that still have some stocks with any value left.

Chris Broe

October 15th, 2009
2:08 pm

The greatest generation became the greediest generation when they became the evilest generation. They started being evil about nine months before the baby boomer’s born-on date. (1946-1964) Why evil then? Because they were all bumping uglies French-style. Most GI’s learned the nasty from dime-a-dance can-can girls in France, (where the woman don’t wear pants). This created evil sex-monsters out of our parents.

These greedy, evil seniors spawned the 75 million mini-me’s (who all attended the original woodstock, BTW) that have depleted our water, our fuel, and our breathable nitrous oxide. (Follow the yellow brick road).

I detest greed. I deplore evil. But I hate old. It’s a good thing that 58 is the new 40, eh?

You know, I was wondering: when can I get my early social security money? At 62? Oh goodie!

OMG! I’m becoming greedy and evil too! OMG! (Someone teach me how the French do it and complete the transformation).

mike

October 15th, 2009
2:10 pm

I love how “tolerant” liberals like Tucker have no problem applying their smears across large groups of people (i.e. “Republicans are racist”, “Senior citizens are selfish”.

Maybe someday these “tolerant” liberals might grow up and acknowledge that individuals deserve to be treated as such, as opposed to just being monolithically smeared with a label because of their age or political views.

Joey

October 15th, 2009
2:16 pm

I think you are condemning the wrong group. I think it is the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is has pushed for this.

This is not the first, nor the 101st, time that the AARP has mis-represented the interest of its members or done a disservice to its members. They mis-represent our interest regularly.

Joey

October 15th, 2009
2:23 pm

I did notice that our Senators and our Representatives got a pay increase. I suspect that their staff members also got a pay increase. And most likely all federal employees got a cost of living increase.

What should have happened is that every federal employee’s, including Senators and Representatives, salary should have been frozen or reduced.

Shananeeeeeeee Fananeeeeeee

October 15th, 2009
2:46 pm

“As President I will end income taxation for all Seniors making less than $50,000 a year.” – President Obama. The Change President becomes the Broken Promise President.

stands for decibels

October 15th, 2009
3:03 pm

The A-man put it pretty well:

“Whatever the rationalization, it’s stimulus and pretty good stimulus. Not all elderly people are poor, but plenty really do live on modest fixed incomes. They’ll spend the extra.”

Yep.

Shawny

October 15th, 2009
3:42 pm

They will get a big COLA next year, as the current administration and congress devalues the dollar through excessive spending. The COLA was based on the past year. In the current year, it is taking off while the dollar tanks.
Fire them all!

TnGelding

October 15th, 2009
3:45 pm

Thought Well didn’t plan well, but I’d bet they have something stashed away for a rainy day, or a little something to leave to the grandkids they need to spend on themselves. Don’t look now, but it’s pouring!

TnGelding

October 15th, 2009
3:46 pm

Shawny

October 15th, 2009
3:42 pm

The “current” year is 15 days old.

Tom Middleton

October 15th, 2009
3:51 pm

As a long-time fan, Cynthia, I’ve agreed with 99.9 percent of everything you say, but not this time. As someone who’s only a short stumble-and-fall from a possible wheel chair, walker, and gumming food herself, I’m deeply shocked by your conclusion.

How you can call this latest bunch of throw-away unfortunates to hit the retirement ranks “greedy,” when all they’re trying to do is survive on a fixed income long enough to see the next spring, I don’t know. Where’s the love and concern for who we’re all going to become at the end of this difficult thing we call life?

You know, the young generation has traditionally been called short-sighted , hedonistic, and unconcerned about society as a whole, but what are we doing to combat these self-serving, fatalistic attitudes, besides nothing?

Is calling the elderly “greedy” and making it hard as heck to live at the end of life doing anything to stabilize our society (and world) AND make it more of a “kewl” place to live? Is demoralizing our retirement ranks doing anything to tell our young that retirement is OK and shouldn’t be feared or ignored?

How about we call the elderly “valuable” instead, and make them glad as heck we’ve got them around. By giving out $250 checks to retirees, Cynthia, at least our president is doing SOMETHING, and thank you very much, Mr. President!

Atlanta Native

October 15th, 2009
3:56 pm

The “Greatest Generation” are those who were of age to fight in WWII. In 1945, they had to be 18. That means they have to be at least 82 now. So what exactly are you saying? Are you begrudging them their cost of living request?

So what about the the 62 through 81 year olds? They are the overwhelming majority of those on Social Security.

So now your math is as bad as your logical thinking!

Tn Gelding – When I read your posts, I have to admit it makes me smile to think that you cannot reproduce.

TnGelding

October 15th, 2009
3:57 pm

Well, my 3:42 disappeared into cyberspace. Suffice to say it was an excellent essay, if I must say so myself.

In summary, most of the Greatest Generation are dead. Most of us drawing SS now are their children, and yes, many of us do appear to be rather greedy. We are among the wealthiest of all citizens and those of us that worked and planned are doing quite well, thank you. I have notified the WH of this on more than one occasion, the latest just before coming here today.

Any payment should be targeted to the unemployed and those living in poverty, which would include about 10 million senior citizens.

TnGelding

October 15th, 2009
4:03 pm

Atlanta Native

October 15th, 2009
3:56 pm

I’ll try to recompose my 3:42 just for you.

I hate to disappoint you, but I did produce one offspring before becoming disabled. Maybe he’s the reason I was put on this Earth. He has four of his own and has been a foster parent and adoptive parent as well.

Have a great day! It’s good to have a place to present our opinions and critique our peers.

TnGelding

October 15th, 2009
4:17 pm

Tom Middleton

October 15th, 2009
3:51 pm

You’re right, Cynthia should be ashamed for painting with such a broad brush, but 75% of us retirees need another $250 like we need another pet, “free” investment seminar, casino junket or island cruise. We’re doing quite well, thank you. Target the payments to those that truly need it, if you have to do it at all.

I’d like to see a change in SS where the ones now receiving the smallest checks start receiving the largest and those receiving the largest, like John S. McCain and Joe Biden, start receiving the smallest, if anything at all. Can you believe they applied for benefits while they were drawing taxpayer funded salaries that put them in the top 5% of “wage earners?” And taxpayers paid their contributions to SS as well. They could have waited until they retired and got a bigger monthly benefit, but even that would have been outrageous considering their Senate “pension.” And McCain is drawing over $50k in disability benefits from the Navy, too.

godless heathen

October 15th, 2009
4:24 pm

Obama saw the latest poll numbers about how POd the geezers are about him wanting to take their Medicare to pay for health care insurance for illegals and slackers. So he throws them a $250 bone in hopes that will shut them up. Not going to work.

Douglas

October 15th, 2009
4:27 pm

I disagree with most of Cynthia’s opinions. However, I am mostly with her on this. I just would not have used the adjectives she used to describe seniors. But like she said, the COLA is not an entitlement. It is supposed to to be based on inflation. That has been understood for years. The one time there is no inflation, then you have the uproar over the basis for the COLA.

I am 50 yrs old now. I have been receiving annual reports from the SS Admin. for years that show me the estimated amount my benefits will be from SS when I retire. I realize that SS is, and was always meant to be, a supplement to my retirement income. I am not planning on it being my sole source of retirement income. It looks to me like many people are depending on SS alone for their retirement income. Unless those people had some misfortune or disaster, etc., then those people have only themselves to blame. They should have planned better for their retirement.

TnGelding

October 15th, 2009
4:34 pm

Douglas

October 15th, 2009
4:27 pm

I don’t hear the uproar. Most of us drawing it understand and don’t want the $250. Send it to someone that truly needs it, if you have to send it at all. At some point an austerity program has to be adopted and implemented. It might as well be now.

jconservative

October 15th, 2009
4:38 pm

TnGelding October 15th, 2009 3:57 pm

I agree totally with TnGelding on this one. I do not need this & do not want it. But it will probably pass & Treasury will send a check.
I will probably throw it in the grand kids college fund like I did the
others.

Like TnGelding, everyone I know who draws Soc Sec does not need anymore money. I am sure there are those who do need it. Why not send us a form – sign & return & we will send a check. If you do not want a check do not return the form.

Or is too simple?

TnGelding

October 15th, 2009
4:42 pm

jconservative

October 15th, 2009
4:38 pm

The politicians must still think this is 1929.

Atlanta Native

October 15th, 2009
4:50 pm

Tn Gelding:

Thanks for taking a bit of ribbing so well! Glad to hear you were not actually snipped and have been fruitful and multiplied.

I, too am the offspring of that generation, though I’m many years away from drawing Social Security and do not expect it to be there for me. And I get to pay the matching funds for my employees as well!

The $250 check reminds me of Bush’s $300.00 pre-refund boondoggle.

Cynthia’s rude comment on that generation is what ticked me off. She seemed to be growing up a bit while she was still in Atlanta, but since she moved to Washington, she has become a petulant little child again. Perhaps worship of our man-child president is doing it to her.

I remember when she got in an argument over the email with my mother about whether Americans knew FDR had polio in the 40’s. Cynthia kept telling my mom that the American people did not and that my mom, even though she was there and did know, did not know what she was talking about. Pesky facts.

TnGelding

October 15th, 2009
5:16 pm

Atlanta Native

October 15th, 2009
4:50 pm

I don’t think Cynthia has as much time to devote to her blog as Jay does to his.

Did you see my suggestion for transferring the employers’ FICA costs to the employees over 7 years?

Atlanta Native

October 15th, 2009
5:31 pm

TnGelding: What is she doing then? I am serious about the regression, though. I rarely agreed with her on things, even when I was younger and more liberal minded. However, she seemed to be taking a reasoned look at things for a while. Lately she seems willing to say anything to prop up the present administration.

I don’t know what to think about the transfer. I am often amazed that people do not know it exists. If it does shift, that realization may lead to a significant backlash, but if done slowly, they’ll just take it like a frog in a pot that slowly heats.

Yankee in Gooberville

October 15th, 2009
7:26 pm

Cranky old whites sucking from the teats of young workers like withered vampires. And they’re more likely to be Republicans.

Let them eat cat food.

TheOne

October 15th, 2009
8:33 pm

Yankee: are you crazy? The whole Social Security program was dreamed up by a parasite named FDR!

Tom Middleton

October 15th, 2009
9:14 pm

TNGelding: Target the payments to those that truly need it, if you have to do it at all.

There it is, TN. However, while I don’t know where you got your numbers, I’ll bet that of that 75 percent you say don’t need it, only a handfull will turn it down.

Maybe we should ask them first, because there’s always something we could use a little extra money for these days that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. There are always unexpected car or home repairs, unexpected medical bills for those of us on early retirement, and, of course, we all know that the cost of living has definitely gone up during this recession. Been to the grocery store lately?

TN, I’m deeply grateful that you and your family are in such great shape, but there are undoubtedly others who can’t say that with such conviction. I guess you’re lucky.

But since this is America, and we’ve never done well with an “I’ve got mine and to heck with you” philosophy, I’m glad we’ve got a president who cares about all of us, not just those who have everything they need. With him, we’ll be able to stay nationally strong in a way we never would have been able to do under John McCain. And if you’re listening, John, TN and I say GIVE IT BACK, GOSHDARNIT! You too, Biden! :)

TnGelding

October 15th, 2009
9:14 pm

godless heathen

October 15th, 2009
4:24 pm

The proposed cuts are in Medicare Advantage (Part C) which pays subsidies directly to the private insurance companies so the plan can be “competitive.” It’s the subsidies that will probably be reduced. Some salesmen have misrepresented their plans to unsuspecting seniors.

From Kaiser:

“Recently, attention has focused on
concerns that Medicare pays more for beneficiaries in Medicare
Advantage plans than for those in the FFS program,
contributing to fiscal challenges facing Medicare’s future.”

“The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act
(MIPPA) of 2008 included changes in payments to plans, and
added beneficiary protections, focusing on marketing practices.”

“In 2009, the majority of the 45 million people on Medicare are
in the FFS program, with 22 percent now enrolled in a private
Medicare Advantage plan. Since 2003, the number of
Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in private plans has nearly
doubled from 5.3 million in 2003 to the current level of 10.2
million (as of March 2009)”

The president mentioned the losses in the stock market and housing values as well in announcing his proposal:

“Even as we seek to bring about recovery, we must act on behalf of those hardest hit by this recession,” Obama said in a statement. “This additional assistance will be especially important in the coming months, as countless seniors and others have seen their retirement accounts and home values decline as a result of this economic crisis.”

TnGelding

October 15th, 2009
9:19 pm

FDR’s bill was very modest. Most, if not all, of the enhancements have been signed by Republican presidents, as have the tax increases. Of course they were backed heavily by the Democrat-controlled Congresses.

marie

October 15th, 2009
9:30 pm

I, too, have agreed with Cynthia more times than not. But I am highly insulted by these remarks. My husband and I are senior citizens, and while we live comfortably, we do not have extra to do the things we used to do. Most of our investments are in real estate, and you know where that leaves us now. We have no prescription insurance except the Part D Medicare. Some times our drug store bills are over $1,000 per month. We have no plan that allows gym membership or anything like that. How dare you insult the generation of Tom Brokow’s book. They are a little older than my husband and I, and I have complete respect for them. Have you watched the veterans visit the memorials at Normandy? If they had not fought, Ms. Tucker, you would be living (if at all) under entirely different circumstances. I never saw you as shallow, but now I do. By the way, we did not ask for the $250.

TnGelding

October 15th, 2009
9:39 pm

Tom Middleton

October 15th, 2009
9:14 pm

Whoa, we’re not in that great of shape, mostly because I “invested” in the Las Vegas strip. But we have a secure (is anything secure these days?) income with our modest house and serviceable vehicles paid for. We do have a little extra each month we try to share and don’t plan on touching IRAs and 401(k)s until it’s mandatory.

The government knows who needs it. I would funnel it to those receiving food stamps, Medicaid, heat assistance, SSI, unemployment, etc.

I hear you on the early retirement. Before the ink on my wife’s retirement request had dried our health care premium went from $50 each to a $100. Before we were eligible for Medicare it was nearly $300.

I just realize what a burden we are on minimum wage workers and small business people (many that work from dawn to dusk) during these trying times. We have benefits they can’t afford. It’s bad enough during boom times.

I hope you’re right on Obama. I’ve been trying to push austerity as his theme starting in FY2011.

Tom Middleton

October 15th, 2009
10:08 pm

TN Gelding

Occasionally, I meet someone I think is a very, very good person, and guess what, TN? I’ve just met another one – YOU! You’re the best!

TnGelding

October 15th, 2009
10:34 pm

Tom Middleton

October 15th, 2009
10:08 pm

Thanks, but I doubt if I could hold a candle to you.

I just hate to see the young folks struggle day to day. Surely in a country this wealthy we can give them the same deal we have.

Tom Middleton

October 15th, 2009
11:46 pm

TNGelding: I just hate to see the young folks struggle day to day. Surely in a country this wealthy we can give them the same deal we have.

If we can keep the right people in office, I think we can do better. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t even be trying. But we had to work hard, my friend, and so will they.

deborahinAthens

October 16th, 2009
6:40 am

I agree with you about 80% of the time, but this time I have to point out, Cynthia, that Social Security is money that has been taken out of my paycheck since I earned my first paycheck in 1968 and I am still paying into the system, since I’m only 59. This is not an entitlement like welfare. So when you start tossing out accusations about how we are not “entitled” to this money, I would have to argue that the government wasn’t “entitled” to the money in the first place!

Caveman

October 16th, 2009
6:52 am

Awww. The old Cons feel that they are entitled to a boost in their welfare check because, once apon a time, they paid taxes. Too bad that money is long gone.
Why don’t you guy man up, follow your own advice and GET A JOB!!! Darn deadbeats.

Independent

October 16th, 2009
7:02 am

Cynthia gets it wrong once again. How can she equate greed on the part of seniors with PrezBO’s $250 checks? PrezBO offered them up not out of concern for seniors but as another vote buying scheme. PrezBO knows full well that if there’s one group that votes regularly, it is the seniors. Perhaps PrezBO will ask his buddy, former bomber Bill Ayers, to handle the check mailing and the envelopes will explode upon opening thus reducing the cost of social security, medicare, and of course the $250 vote buying scheme.

SouthernGal

October 16th, 2009
7:05 am

Greedy….can you live on $900 a month?

Bob

October 16th, 2009
7:20 am

This has more to do with vote buying and not placating. Obama is throwing a bone to the old people that are upset that Dems are sucking 500 mil out of medicare.

Eddy

October 16th, 2009
7:21 am

Didn’t ask for the checks to begin! And so, it is ok for O to print money for ACORN, go to Copenhagen on the boondoggle of the Olympics, thrown money at the banks, GM, etc. And where is your outrage about all of that and more…. I guess you are just struggling to come up with another topic to write about that will feed the libs insatiable appetite for outrage and pettiness. Oh for the race-baiters…last time I looked at the senior citizen ranks, they were populated by all races and creeds! If you believe that only whites receive SS, you really should seek help for your delusions.