Comment about Social Security draws response

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To the editor:

Several weeks back, in the community feedback portion of the Times Herald, someone expressed a desire to see an increase in their Social Security check. That person might not have intended it, but their comment, in essence, reflected no more than a desire to see an increase in everyday expenses such as food and gasoline.

Although I understand that Social Security income provides limited economic security, annual increases in the monthly check are not similar to “merit pay” increases from an employer. Social Security increases are determined by a cost of living allowance, intended to guarantee people receiving checks have the same purchasing power each year.

It might not seem like it, but for the past several years, we have been living in rather stable economic times; $2 gasoline is one example. All this stability means that the average retiree’s check will increase by only $4 in 2017.

Perhaps, in the near future, retirees seeking a bigger increase in their monthly check will get their wish. It is projected that gasoline will rise to $3 or more by the end of 2017. Food costs may increase. Trade wars may cause an increase in the cost of living for other goods.

From what I understand, the incoming presidential administration is assembling a legion of billionaires and oilmen to help chart the course for America’s economic future. Hopefully, those people will be focused on the economic security of the forgotten men and women, and their Social Security checks.

One thing both retirees and future retirees should be concerned about is the potential privatization of Medicare, something reportedly being discussed in Washington.

James G. Schuessler,