According to Robert Pear of the New York Times, Congress decided to turn their backs to more than 60 million recipients of Social Security welfare when Congress decided not to give a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for 2016. Only twice since 1975 have past Congresses refused to approve COLAs. Both times have come during the Obama years of the Greatest Depression.
As Social Security is a generous welfare program of Congress, Congress can take away anything they give (see: Flemming v. Nestor). In spite of incessant, stupid beliefs by millions, no one "paid into it." Social Security is not an annuity that gives anyone a right of action against Congress.
Americans paid a flat tax levied on income that Congress dedicates to fund a particular welfare entitlement of theirs called Social Security. Any funds left over after paying for that entitlement, Congress merely swipes away for other spending whims of theirs.
In spite of habitual lies from President Obama, ex-Fed Res banker Ben Bernanke, current Fed Res banker Janet Yellen and all of Obama's lackeys, the economy has failed to recover since the Banking Crisis of 2008. My readers know this.
On October 14, 2015, the jokers at Fox News released the results of a survey confirming what I've been writing about for years. In spite of the claims of economists as well as political operatives who declared the recession over six years ago, most American voters don't believe it. According to the survey, 78 percent of voters still think the economy has yet to recover to where it was before the recession.
After stripping away the effects of monetary accretion, what you get is reality. In reality, what most Americans experience daily is far different from the fantasy peddled by those of the political establishment.
In True Dollars™, wages are down for the month, the year, the last five years and since peak GDP of Q4 2007.
Most wage-earning Americans who have lived through the span of time from 1960s will tell you the chart below matches their reality.
Most will tell you that in spite of the rah-rah years of Ronald Reagan, American economic life declined. Such life hit a low during the first term of Bill Clinton.
And then the Internet hit and a boom followed. After the dot com bubble burst and then terrorists attacked Americans, the economy slumped until Alan Greenspan engineered the second leg of the Greenspan-Bernanke Great Inflation, the biggest credit bubble in the history of mankind.
As wages account for the lion's share of GDP in spite of what foolish thinkers like Thomas Piketty believe (see: Thomas Piketty, 696 Pages of Foolery Destroyed in Less Than Five Minutes and Thomas Piketty, Revivalist Preacher of Born-Again Socialism. The Second Great Awakening of Socialism Has Come to America), in total, wages in True Dollars move with GDP in True Dollars.
In the ideal, the ratio of personal consumption expenditures to average weekly earnings should be fully flat. If so, that would mean the earnings of Americans could cover their spending.
However, the curve below tells you that every year spending is going up faster that wages.
So if spending is rising faster than wages, how can Americans spend more than they earn? Well, it's simple. Americans accept credit and go into debt.
Indebtedness has never been this high, especially for wage earners.
And here is the chart that shows you why many gullible ones believe the lies of politicians like Barack Obama, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen. Once we apportion personal consumption expenditures to adults, 20 and up, not in prison or mental institutions, we see that life hasn't changed for wage-earning Americans since late 2008.
Americans must become ever more indebted in their effort to maintain a lifestyle they have known since 2009.
The chart above reveals how bogus measures like CPI are (see: The Consumer Price Index Never Has Measured Inflation, Ever. Claiming So Has Been an Epic Con Job). With CPI, the minions at the BLS can change the composition of the CPI on at their whims. Further, the CPI doesn't reveal how Americans pay for things.
When credit stands as property of futurity, credit becomes a wonderful instrument for all. Yet, when credit becomes the means by which many meet their daily living expenses and thus maintain a lifestyle, credit becomes destructive.
Credit used for personal consumption pushes up prices. Most Americans fail to realize this. Thus when enough Americans take a chunk of their wages each month to service credit card debt and other lines of credit, those Americans make prices go up for everyone else who do not use credit.
One fix for this would be to eliminate the tax write-off on credit card losses of bankers. As it is, credit cards amount to little more than unsecured personal loans made by bankers to card holders using bankers' credit, only a portion of which must be secured by reserves.
Americans are subsidizing bankers' losses on imprudent credit card loans made by bankers as well as paying higher prices for goods and services because many Americans have been indoctrinated into I-must-have-it-now belief.
Likely, this is one of the most important reality-revealing charts you will ever look upon. The other chart you must see is the chart socialists and politicians don't want you to see and the chart that shows economists don't understand commercial life and found in Sophie's Choice of Capital or Labor. A Free-Markets Libertarian Becomes an Anti-Capitalist and Perpetuates an Economics Myth.
Economists don't understand the economy nor do they understand capitalism. That is why they could never produce these charts (see: Why Is the Economy So Horrible? Because Academia Economics Is Fake).
Worse, Federal Reserve bankers don't understand capitalism. I wrote about such truth here: Zirped! Bernanke and Now Yellen Have Felled Capitalism. Volker Was Right on How to Do It.