Tucson, Ariz. – In light of today’s news that there will be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security recipients for the second years in a row, Rep. Raul M. Grijalva highlighted his long-standing co-sponsorship and strong support for the Seniors Protection Act, which would provide a $250 payment to about 54 million Americans. This is the second consecutive years in which there will be no COLA, meaning benefits have remained flat for tens of millions of seniors in the struggling economy.
This unprecedented situation is a result of economic conditions, not Congressional inaction. COLAs are calculated to keep pace with inflation. Benefits were last adjusted in 2009, when the inflation adjustment was an unusually high 5.8 percent increase based on data from the third quarter of 2008, when energy prices were high. Prices fell in late 2008 and 2009 as a result of lower energy prices and the economic downturn.
“The lingering effects of the worst downturn since the Great Depression mean Americans who need Social Security can’t afford to be left in the dark,” Rep. Grijalva said. “Social Security needs to be maintained and strengthened for the good of our families and our economy. It’s good for growth and means retired Americans have what they need to keep a good standard of life. We need the Seniors Protection Act now more than ever.”
A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute showed that similar payments to seniors in 2009 strengthened the economy, increased the nation’s GDP by 0.5 percent in the second quarter of the year, and created or saved 125,000 American jobs.