Let’s talk Social Security instead of about Morrissey
2/2/2023, 6 p.m.
Instead of wasting time, energy, resources and newsprint on calling for Sen. Joe Morrissey to resign, I suggest you focus your efforts on changing a common practice that leads to perpetual inequality.
Everybody completely overlooks the perpetually damaging effects of annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) because they seem fair, since the same percent is used across the board. But the amounts given to those who receive low benefits compared to those who receive higher benefits are very different and even figure into the continuance of unequal COLA amounts year after year, a major factor in the continual growth of income inequality.
In 2022 some recipients received as little as $300 a month, while others received more than $2,600 a month. This discrepancy is due to everyone receiving benefits based on his or her contributions during their working life and is fair because those who paid in more should get more back. What is not fair are the amounts generated by multiplying these benefits by the same percentage in order to enable recipients to cope with inflation.
For example, the recent 8.7 percent COLA increase meant an increase of $26 or $260 a month, depending on whether you received $300 or $2,600. Does the $2,600 recipient need 10 times as much to cope with inflation as the $300 recipient? The opposite is true and should be addressed by basing COLAs on the actual amount of increase in buying essentials likes food, prescriptions, gas and shelter.
Please focus on exposing legislative practices that contribute to income inequality and institutional racism rather than the innocuous behavior of one of our elected representatives. Sen. Morrissey is not alleged to have committed any crimes and has paid the penalty for all the crimes he has committed. We owe him forgiveness, not condemnation. And we need to focus on larger issues that affect us all.
SHIRLEY DESIMONE, PH.D.