Re: Retiree raises may go away story, April 3
Keep your hands off our Social Security checks
First, we Florida senior citizens who had insurance policies for decades with State Farm were told to start hunting for new policies, and now we read that retiree raises may go away. Our senators and representatives had better be very careful when considering a cut like this. Do they really think of us as more than a number?
Take my case. I am an 86-year-old senior who is surviving four heart attacks, congestive heart failure, diabetes, colitis, arthritis and any other "-itis" you can name. I have nine doctors and I take plenty of pills every day. Most cost $1 or more each, and the more expensive ones I have had to drop.
My Social Security checks support me and my two sons. The younger son is a Down's syndrome senior citizen. The elder son is our 24/7 caregiver, who I can't do without. Besides paying my supplemental health insurance, I have to help pay for my caregiver's expensive health insurance.
How can we survive a cost-of-living cut when all of the necessities are going up daily — food, gas (again!), insurance, prescription drugs? Would you believe even my Part D drug insurance premium, Silverscript, has gone up more than 30 percent since last year? We need a car to get around and we need insurance on the car and house.
A couple of years ago, Sen. John Kerry neatly got Congress a raise of $3,000 a month while we got a measly 1.8 percent increase in our Social Security checks. I think Congress also recently got another raise.
And several senators are collecting Social Security checks even though they have private fortunes to bank on, including Sen. Robert Byrd and Sen. John McCain. How about the Congress taking a major cut in salaries and really showing that they are serving their country? Since when did the concept of "service" include juicy financial perks like thousands of dollars in speaking fees, book deals, small businesses for spouses, etc.?
But the poor senior citizens have to suffer in silence when more and more is taken from them. They can, after all, live on bread and water because they are used to living poor, from the Great Depression. It's too painful for the rich to pinch pennies!
We have our pride, too, and in our day it was considered a shame to have to live on welfare, dependent on a bailout by the government. It was also considered a shame to pretend to be heroically serving one's country while actually feathering one's nest.
Listen up, Congress! Keep your paws off our raise or beware when elections come up again.
Frances Mirowski, Palm Harbor
Re: Time for protection of Social Security | letter, April 22
Politicians need to heed the cry from seniors
I just read Frank J. Duci's well-written letter about Social Security and how the politicians are pillaging the money that we have worked very hard for all our lives.
I wonder if Frank or any other senior citizen saw the St. Petersburg Times article two weeks ago that stated our cost of living adjustment (COLA) will be zero for the next three years and 2 percent after that.
This would be fine if you could put a price freeze on everything else, but we know that's not going to happen. I hope the politicians hear from the 45 million senior citizens before its too late.
Steve Coley, Clearwater