Social Security Increases for 2021
- Author: Michael Bordonada
- Posted: 2023-03-04
The economy of America has been a little out of whack since the pandemic hit in 2020. Around 80% of businesses were forced closed by the government, which caused the highest unemployment numbers in history. On top of former President Donald Trump spending trillions of dollars to stimulate the economy with everyone out of work, current President Joe Biden is still spending trillions of dollars now during a labor shortage with most businesses opened back up. This has led to the highest inflation rates in history, even though the government has skewed the data a bit to claim that it's only the highest in 13 years. The truth is that once you adjust for how far the dollar has fallen, today's inflation rates are astronomical. Thankfully, Social Security will be getting an increase to adjust for this inflation.
There are over 70 million Americans on some type of Social Security benefit, which ranges from Medicaid and disability to SSI (retirement) and some permanent jobless benefits. This is a system set up many years ago that was supposed to work to offer the elderly retirement after they paid their income taxes all their working lives. It was supposed to be an earned benefit only available to citizens who worked. Of course, that has now changed a lot, but that's no surprise; the federal income tax was also only supposed to be temporary.
So, millions of people on Social Security benefits may be excited that they're getting an increase. Should they be?
Big Inflation, Small Increase
The truth is that for the past few years, inflation has turned the average of $1,200 monthly in SSI to the spending equivalent of $900 or so. And that's before President Joe Biden's runaway inflation in an economy his administration claims is booming. Social Security will be raised 5.9%, to offset the 5.4% inflation increase of this fiscal year. However, this presents two issues right away.
For starters, the 5.4% inflation increase is not only grossly miscalculated, but it's just for the year. It's not taking into account last year, or any previous years. In total, we're looking at the US Dollar having about 80% of its spending power that it had in 2019, so the government's about 15% off of what they should be raising Social Security.
Secondly, and most importantly, they're not giving this increase to everyone. People on survivor's benefits will not be receiving it. In fact, fewer people are being approved for survivor's benefits, and Social Security is instead being handed out to undocumented residents at a record rate.
A Crowded System
The Social Security system is more crowded than it has ever been, giving out benefits to millions more people than it was just last year. While the mainstream media loves to downplay the strain on the system from undocumented residents, the fact is that over one million undocumented people have taken up residency in the US in 2021 alone, and roughly 85% of them are drawing Social Security in one form or another. That's not even counting the billions of dollars earmarked for Afghani refugees.
Now, wherever one may stand on immigration, understand that these are separate issues that the government should not be conflating. They are the ones at fault here. Social Security was a safety net set up for citizens. If the money were to be taken away from other areas and budgets, that would be one thing. Though to divide a small pie into millions of additional slices is crippling America's seniors and disabled. The draw pool is far too large for Social Security.
No End in Sight
One of the biggest problems cited here is the fact that inflation is going to continue to rise. America is dealing with a massive labor shortage, and now a food shortage that is potentially being spurred along by the government in order to force people to become vaccinated. This is going to cause inflation to get carried away, with rising costs in fuel, food and rent. A piddly increase in Social Security income is not going to help many people at all.
The real fear here is austerity, if and when the government realizes that its spending is unsustainable. Social Security will likely remain stagnant at that point, with fewer people being accepted, and no more increases for those who need it.