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December 18th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Federal agencies get 10% budget increase while people on Soc. Security get none

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It happened quietly at the White House this week - almost like they didn't want us to notice:

President Obama signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill which increases budgets in many federal agencies by about 10-percent.

The bill includes almost $450 billion for the operating budgets of different departments. Among those seeing increases: The FBI, the Veterans Health Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

Democrats say this spending is critical in order to help the economy out of the recession. But Republicans are slamming what they call out-of-control spending - and criticizing about $4 billion going to more than 5,000 earmarks requested by individual lawmakers.

Doesn't exactly sound like the change President Obama promised, does it?

One watchdog group says the earmark projects include the construction of a Kentucky Farmer's market, the renovation of a historic theater in New York and the restoration of a Rhode Island mill.

The bill also approves a 2 percent pay increase for federal workers.

Meanwhile the 50 million Americans receiving Social Security won't be getting any increase next year - for the first time in more than 3 decades.

So nothing for the country's seniors... but there's always money for more government.

Here’s my question to you: Do some federal agencies deserve a 10-percent budget increase when people on Social Security get no increase at all?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Kevin from Lunenberg, Massachusetts writes:
I think a little shared sacrifice is in order here like budget cuts, pay freezes and furloughs for all government workers including Congress. That would go a long way towards telling people they are not alone and that their government feels their pain. But after all this is Washington, what was I thinking?

Joe writes:
What irritates me more about this are the earmarks attached to the bill, which is something the president promised he would end, and the fact that (much like when Congress votes to increase their own salaries) the bill was passed "quietly." So much for transparency and responsible government.

Remo from Pflugerville, Texas writes:
Transparency? How about slight of hand? I think the "Hope" is now "Nope"! Nope to jobs, spending, refinancing of mortgages, honest politicians, and promises. At least now, everyone's gotten the idea that it's business as usual. The only good president is a one-term president. This president couldn't lead himself out of the men's room without a committee and 4 weeks of talk.

Raul from Texas writes:
Absolutely not! I am a federal employee. This is just wrong in times like these when the economy is big-time in a depression. When is our government going to learn that there is a spending limit? The elderly deserved a cost of living increase, not the Feds.

Tom writes:
Elderly and disabled people on Social Security should get an increase before any able-bodied people. People who work have the option to work over time or a second job to increase income; the elderly and disabled do not have this option. Let’s take care of our aging population, not hammer an extra nail in the coffin.

Jim from Georgia writes:
Jack, What kind of question is that? You sound like my wife: "Why are we spending money painting the house when I need more shoes?" We do have to run the government I think, don't we?

George writes:
I'm on Social Security. Need you really ask how I feel?


Filed under: Social Security • Uncategorized
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Marilyn Allis

    Yes because some agencies previously received cuts in their budgets during the previous administration while Social Security recipients have not. (However, as a SS recipient I'd love to receive an increase.)

    December 18, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  2. Bill Wv

    And the Prez has the audacity to say that failure to pass his horrendous health reform bill will break the country.
    Think 'Pork' and 'Governmental Corruption' my friend.....
    "The Audacity of Deceit" should be his next book title !

    December 18, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  3. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Life isn't fair and it isn't easy but this is the way it is in our society. I'm not suprised at this at all and especially in the light of the way our governement has become, filled with shisters, lobbyists and people who really don't care.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  4. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    Speaking as someone who has close friends and family on Social Security, I would say no. Although the government says there is no need for a cost-of-living increase with the upward spiral in the cost of food and other necessities it's becoming a lot harder for those who depend on Social Security for their needs.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  5. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    No!

    December 18, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  6. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    I'm sure some agencies need more money to support the population who cannot support themselves until the economy recovers. I'm sure republican's idea would be to let them starve and died. After all, you only have to bury the dead once. I would look closely at which agencies get a 10% increase. I would reject any military increase, enough is squandered there.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  7. Jack Carlson

    It is not fair, however that is not the issue with Congress or the Obama ADM. Read the books by Sustein or Holdren and you will find out what they think of older people (thier efforts in Healthcare reveal more as well). This ADM is heartless needless to say.
    We are already preparing to make sure within three States that the Seniors get to the polls to vote out this piece of crap that we voted in in Nov 2006 (Congress) and Nov 2008.
    Since 2006 the personal expenditures of Congress (both house and Senate) have increased by 70%. Makes us sick.
    Jack C
    WA

    December 18, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  8. vern-anaheim,ca

    no jack that is very unfair that those on social security like me get no raise in benefits.A10% raise for some federal employees ,i would have been satisfied with 1/2 as much or even less but at least something.T he cost of living is going up all the time making it harder for senior citizens like myself to make ends meet ,it seems the Fat Cats "get all the breaks .I worked hard for what i get and think it's not too much to ask for a raise in social security annualy

    December 18, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  9. Liz, Los Angeles, CA

    Surely, Jack, that is a rhetorical question. As a SS recipient, I am especially hurt (well along with all the rest of us SS recipients), but as an American, I am galled.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  10. Toby

    Disabled Veterans Get No increase as well because the Department of Veterans Affairs Cost of living adjustment is based on Social Securities Cost of Living Adjustment. The Consumer Price Index is the basis of these Cost of Living increases. And like all statistics it can be manipulated. The health reform debate is about health insurance really. Well home owners insurance has its need for reform as well. Here in Florida we cant tell you what our cost for home owners insurance will be from one moment to the next or if we will be dropped like State Farm is doing to many. I live on a budget and over the years I have made cut backs because the cost of living increases have not kept up. I get the feeling that Social Security is some White Elephant that the Government whats to overlook while we spend billions on a Military budget .We know the Government is broke but how can we send men into war when the Disabled Veterans get tossed to the side along with Social Security. I live on a budget Something the Government doesn't understand.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  11. Annie, Greensboro NC

    Absolutely NOT! There's no reason for our elderly, parents, grandparents, and the disabled to struggle trying to make ends meet when some if not most federal agencies are receiving and wasting hard earned money from the American taxpayers. It's time we had a say in who gets what and how much by taking a VOTE.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  12. Paul, New Port Richey, Fl

    Thieves in the night....all of them.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  13. chris

    this is insane they can do this is a slap int he face of every american taxpayer it's bad enough the pork thye push and take at our expense they all deserve a pay cut

    December 18, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  14. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    I object to government workers getting raises when those on Social Security do not. If the cost of living has declined for seniors, then it has gotten lower for the government workers who got the 2 percent raise. Money for the projects doesn't bother me–people have to get work somehow when the banks are giving little credit to small businesses and entrepreneurs. No one in government jobs–including our beloved Congress–should be getting any raise–after all the cost of living has gone down–hasn't it?

    December 18, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  15. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    No, federal agencies should not be able to get an increase in funding while those on Social Security don't. I'm left shaking my head.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  16. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl congress also took away president obama's senior stimulus bonus of $250 as well this week. no cola, no stimulus, and now they want us to accept this new "amnesty" bill that will cost billions. no more. i want real change and the only way to get it is to get these greedy buffoons out of office, all of them.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  17. Mark

    This is what's so infuriating about our present administration....Billions and Billions of dollars to bail out FAT CAT bankers, Insurance companies and Wall Street brokers and not a damn dime to the elderly and disabled who just barely make ends meet! Now, the bankers and Wall Street Fat Cats are getting their HUGE bonuses AGAIN! This issue alone makes my blood boil!

    Mark
    OKC

    December 18, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  18. Mike from Denver

    It may be a little rude to not give an increase to Social Security recipients, but then again, when did it become the government's responsibility to be the primary source of income for retirees?

    December 18, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  19. Jim Glass

    Jack,
    I'm among this country's seniors and a former sr. level corporate negotiator. I can accept not receiving a COLA since that was part of the deal before the economy tanked. At the same time, perhaps some of the federal employees, not the agencies, should receive increases for the jobs they have done, individually. What ever happened to the merit system in this country? I suppose figuring all this out is just too damn difficult for the gov't HR folks. Smells like bad management to me.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  20. joe m

    Deserve it? Probably, but I bet if we look hard enough it is possible to trim that 10% down. what irritates me more about this are the earmarks attached to the bill, which is something the president promised he would end, and the fact that, much like when congress votes to increase their own salaries, the bill was passed "quitely". So much for transparency and responsible government.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  21. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    Chuck the pork and give it to the seniors, some of which I am sure are in dire straights on fixed incomes. But tell me Jack, how do you expect Mr. Obama to keep all his promises that he made on the campaign trail, when the cabinet and bench warmers that he has now aren't anywhere near being on the same page? It's a little difficult. However he really should veto the pork.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  22. Tony from Southport

    As a senior who started collecting Social Security last year, and will not be getting an increase for the cost of living even though I have paid into Social Security and Medicare for over 50 years......, I have one thing to say to Democrat legislators......... pack your bags.....you WILL be going home in 2010.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  23. Steve, NY

    Of course the federal Government deserves a 10% increase. It's the way of Socialism. Ask any Liberal/Democrat and they'll agree. Remember the seniors were dumb when they were young. Today they got smarter and changed to and became Republicans. The liberals are all in the younger generation and of course the journalists are all liberal socialists. Therefore they think the seniors are rich and don't need any raises.
    That's what happenned in Russia under communism, the seniors got pennies in their pensions, while government workers got all the benefits.
    That's going to happen here. All the young snappers will get their payday when they become seniors.
    Good luck to all Obamamites.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  24. Jim

    Jack: The Federal employees keep getting significant increases, the politicians get increases and perks, everything in government Federal, State and local keeps going up, our property taxes, county taxes, city taxes keep going up; and soon our State income tax is expected to double after the next elections, but they can’t give the seniors an increase. My wife and I are 73 and are both on Social Security having worked to age 65. It takes 3 of my SS checks just to pay the property taxes on a very modestly priced home, our Medicare Part B costs increase every year, and the Medicare Part D drug premiums have more than doubled since the start of that program. The politicians are throwing money around like complete idiots, every bill passed is full of pork, we support illegals, but no increases for the seniors. I guess we are expendable.

    Jim
    Hoffman Estates, IL

    December 18, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  25. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, no. Federal agencies and the earmarks are putting wealth into areas that will only profit certain individuals and a good chance that most of the money will be squandered on pet projects that will not benefit the larger population. Giving some assistance to Social Security will add a little more money to the amount of disposable income for most of these people who will allocate it far more wisely than government bureaucracy. I believe many Americans are now beginning to question the wisdom of some of Obama's decisions in all areas that concern the lives of the taxpayers of the nation.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  26. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    No. The $800 billion pork filled stimulus they passed earlier this year was supposed to keep unemployment below 8% and create jobs. It didn't work and neither will this one. Giving raises to Federal workers while the rest of lucky enough to have a job are working less hours for less pay. So much for the promise of transparency and line by line elimination or pork spending that Obama promised us as he signed the last pork filled bill. It appears the only job creation they are capable of are government jobs, paid for by the tax payers.......NO job creation at all.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  27. John, Cheektowaga, NY

    Yea, and the 700,000 + of us waiting for our Social Security Disability to be approved get zippo as well!

    December 18, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  28. william fitzwater

    SANTA leaves a lump of coal in someones stocking and gives gifts to others. I wonder whose been naughty or nice.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  29. A. Smith, Oregon

    Jack, indeed this give and take away looks and smells like a callous and hypocritical governmental action.

    I wouldn't however suggest the Republican party mantra that less government is better, only that lawmakers should be more sensitive to those on social security that are now being inundated by higher taxes, higher food costs, higher fuel costs, higher property taxes and those special new taxes coming down the federal pipeline.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  30. Mike S., New Orleans

    There's a difference between money required to keep federal agencies running, and social security raises for seniors. One keeps the U.S. government afloat, the other pays for an extra cup of coffee per week. Did your watchdog group only find Democrat's earmarks, or are there plenty of right wing projects included?

    December 18, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  31. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack, I agree with the budget increases for the agencies you mention. I don't agree with the 2% wage increase for Federal workers and all the earmarks you mention. Especially when so many rely solely on their Social Security income and will not get any increase. But all this cannot be blamed on president Obama alone. The republicans were just as responsible as the democrats for all the unnecessary earmarks. What ever happened to the line item veto bill that became so popular during President Reagan's presidency? Pass a bill like that or pass a bill were no ear marks are allowed to be attached to a bill. That will never happen be cause both parties, no matter how much they complain about pork barrel spending, want it.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  32. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    A 10% budget increase next year for federal agencies is another example just how detached Washington is from the working public. After suffering through multiple/painful 10% budget CUTS over the past 2 years, our company was finally sold & moved to an overseas concern – now there's no budget to cut or increase! Maybe we should explore moving Congress offshore & outsource their duties – I'll bet the Chinese or Indians would find a way to properly care for our seniors on Social Security.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  33. Kevin Lunenburg MA.

    I'm amazed that these legislators have the nerve to stand in front of a TV camera and say that Wall Street doesn't get it, then go pass a budget like this. It's clear they don't get it either. I think a little shared sacrifice is in order here like budget cuts, pay freezes and furloughs for all government workers including Congress. That would go a long way towards telling people they are not alone and that their government feels their pain. But after all this is Washington, what was I thinking.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  34. Charles marion

    Jack, they don't deserve a increase. I'm on social security and its not much of a living. We need a raise and if the federal agencies deserve a raise, I do to. I bet they make more than 1,000 a month. that's what I get and I worked forty years. I think they hate us.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  35. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    The money taken out of your check for Social Security went into general funds that money went to fund Vietnam, the C.I.A., the war in Iraq, welfare to citizens who do not work or can not. Then the government will print more money making the money you have in the bank worth less. Why get work up over 10 percent they wasted billions

    December 18, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  36. bob frompa

    that's 50 million votes they won't get that's how smart they are

    December 18, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  37. Maria

    There are some agencies ,underfunded for years, which need increases. But there are many agencies/departments within agencies that shouldn't even be in existence.

    I know that my Medicare insurance payment went way up...what is that $$ used for? And no COLA.

    I've already been rationing my medications...next step is not taking them at all. If 15 million(conservately) have to do the same, aren't health costs going to rocket? I'm sending my prescriptions to Lieberman, including the $3,000.00 per month for daily injections to keep my brain functioning. He's clearly got money to spare.

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    December 18, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  38. ken, NJ

    One of the reasons I voted for obama was that he promised seniors on social security who earn less than 50k per year would not have to pay any income tax. He lied because he has not even tried to reduce taxes for seniors. My health care premium is going up 12% next year, utilities are up, food is up, car and home owners insurance is up, credit card interest rates are up, bank fees are up, banks and wall street executives are getting 13% higher bonuses than last year, but yet social security gets a 0% cost of living increase. A 10% increase in all agencies is outrageous considering that the national debt is 13 trillion dollars. The dems are finished politically.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  39. Arlene, Illinois

    As a senior I always look forward to the COLA increase but this
    year I'll just have to tighten the belt and go with the flow.
    I know those boys on wall street must be having a hard time
    just like me. Excuse me while I go and throw up in the corner.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  40. Luci - Pekin, IL.

    I need to hear more about this before I decide.
    I am on Social Security, but there are so many stories going around.
    I believe our President will do what is best for us, not like the last administration.
    Maybe this was something the Repubs out forth. Repubs are always wanting to mess with Social Security,
    I do not trust them with anything to do with me.
    They are rotten apples, only for the wealthy.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  41. Joey in Houston, TX

    It happened quietly at the White House this week.........that is why we need CNN and the rest of the news media to stay on top of and report these important stories. They want to continue this spending spree without our knowledge and continue to use the recession "they inherited" as an excuse for everything they are doing. There is no justification for buying votes to pass this by allowing all these earmarks as well as giving tax payer funded raises. Great example of why Government needs to be smaller.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  42. Darren

    Robbing from the poor to give to the rich, not exactly change we can believe in.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  43. Ed from California

    When I was a kid (I'm 57), GM and the auto industry was the largest employer in the US, now it's the Federal govt. I don't see prices of utilities falling or gasoline falling for that matter. And it sure looks like the majority of us well be either working for the govt or taking a handout from the govt. I would sure would like to get my food stamps from a happy employee making good money than an unhappy one working for 10% less. As far as SS, well my 401(k) didn't increase by 10% (it lost 25%), but a increase of 10% in SS for retiree's would be nice, but, it would never happen, too many on the doles.

    Jack, I'm a broken record, we need to get all the outsourced jobs back from Comunist China, India and Mexico. Get our American citizens back to work and paying into the State and Federal Tax system. And our problems go away!

    December 18, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  44. Victoria Pensacola, Florida

    Well our government is sure taking control of the budget... that is the budget for themselves and their friends. But I guess I shouldn't begrudge our younger and smarter generation their due rewards for their hard work. Being a senior, on Social Security, I have much to look forward to. This new health care bill will be of great help to us seniors. Just think, we seniors won't be a burden to our children and grandchildren, like our parents that we so loving took care of till they passed away, nooo our children won't have to sacrifice thier precious time and money on us. The new government of the elite for the elite will make sure that we seniors will have minimal care and therefore die quickly and therefore not burden society. How lovely isn't it folks.. the government for the people by the people......

    December 18, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  45. Paul, Austin, Texas

    Sure give the money out to all but who really need it. Isn't that the american way no matter what party is in charge I wish someone that could would have the brass well you know what to start a real third party. Why don,t you and Wolf start one Jack.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  46. Donald Cameron, NC

    NOT NO, BUT HELL NO!!

    This incompetent, self-indulging Congress have time and time agan proven their inability to get anything done, other than appear on news channels with their self-effacing sound bites, tea party venues, and tax-payer trips abroad.

    I have not only lost confidence in any member of Congress, but also Obama. He has steadfastly refused to exert his influence and power to change Washington as he promised as a candidate.

    President Obama, his entire cabinet and every member of Congress are an embarrassment to this country and its system of government. None of them desire the office they hold and lied when taking their oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. They've done nothing but trample on it and the rights of the people.

    If the people of this country don't wake up and DEMAND change then we deserve what we have. Take to the streets and demand change or force state legislatures to demand a constitututional convention and bypass Congress. Make them irrelevant since both parties have shown their capacity for getting nothing done.

    Enough is Enough peopel - take control or shut the hell up!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  47. JENNA

    Do some federal agencies deserve a 10-percent budget increase when people on Social Security get no increase at all?

    Business as usual on the hill Jack. Did you ecpect it to be different?

    We will be met with these same issues if we continue to do 2 things.

    First, Bills should be written and passed on their own merit and not on the coat tails of other bills.

    Second, Leaders should be elected under Public Financing and not beholding to any special interest groups.

    Take care of the above and you'll have Real Change that you can believe in.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    December 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  48. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Well Jack,as a huge fan of this blog.I must tell my story for the 8th time
    as its the same abuse different day.
    Our loser congress is sound asleep unless they hear the sound of money for themselves..................."our money that is""
    So the amswer to your question is as it was last week
    """The good ole boys takin care of the good ole boys"""""""""

    The voters could change that if they wanted to
    David

    December 18, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  49. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Jack
    With unemployment at 17% logically you would think the income to the treasury will drop significantly. Not to be overlooked would be a 17% added burden due to draining unemployment benefits as well as people who elect to claim disability from Social Security. Increase in spending now would be suicide at my house. More money going out and less coming in means they will probably contact Merlin and Dumbledoor at the Treasury to fire up the money machines at the Mint.
    Everybody stand back cause this is gonna get ugly
    More money in circulation means less value for each dollar earned. Prices go up and standard of living goes down.
    In the end the little guy unknowingly pays the bills over time and the suffering diminishes to prosperity down the road. Joe Schmo never knows what happened only he can't get ahead.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  50. jfc1

    seriously rather than whinging about SS recipients not getting a 10% increase to go along with the inevitable Medicare increase and the other government increases that you mention here, why not have a few laughs about the Illinois Republicans who seem to think that we can't house al Queida inmates in Illinois safely and who are suddenly concerned about their "constitutional rights" in the context of indefinite detention without trial?

    I can't wait until you quote their positions after they were illegally rendered and tortured in the first place, and when the first supermax prison was proposed for construction in the state, as well as their positions on the "3 strikes and you're out" principle LOL

    December 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  51. Linda

    I'm sorry, where is it...as Obama himself said, "sacrifices being made" by our politicians??? And he signed this in to law, huh?

    Accountability ? ZIP, this loser spends more when we have less money. And all this is before these Cap and ?TRADE?(trade away the economy) and health insurance bills tabs come in.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  52. RobertJ

    Unless some agency has a specific and real need, their spending should be reduced, not increased. Give the money back to the taxpayers to boost the economy.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  53. Bill Kern

    I have paid into my Social Security for 50 years. Now that I am 67 and drawing Social Security, I expect to be treated as least as well as the federal employees. If I don't get a cost of living, either should they. Please don't tell me the 2% is for a merit increase. Based on the results, they don't deserve it !!

    Bill K
    Cypress, TX

    December 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  54. Jim

    People on Social Security don't need an increase when there is no increase in the cost of living, as there wasn't this year.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  55. Angela, Kentucky

    Supposedly Social Security is tied to the cost of living rate and apparently the cost of living went down. So we are told anyway. I know my cost of living keeps going up but maybe I'm an island and don't know it.

    As for Republicans slamming "out of control spending" after 8 years of writing blank checks for Bush, well just slap me silly cause that is what it'll take to get me to buy into their mindless theatrics.

    With the unholy mess Obama inherited I think he is doing just fine and I support him.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  56. David Warnock

    Jack,

    The short answer is no.

    The long answer is wouldn't 100% of SS increases go back into the economy, as in stimulus?

    President Obama seems determined to alienate those of us who voted for him with great expectations.

    I guess if this is the first time in three decades to shaft the old folks, strictly speaking this is change.

    David
    Milledgeville, GA

    December 18, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  57. Willie E Aclin

    They didnot give a raise to my social security but they sure held out another $5 for insurance. They should have to take 20% pay cut and give it to people on social security.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  58. Chris

    Whether you are a Republican or Democrat or neither, you must admit that this gov't and its out-of-control spending must be reined in; most US citizens are trimming their budgets – the gov't should do likewise.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  59. John

    Hussein will have us all begging for crumbs before long, and to answer your question NO.

    December 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  60. thomc406

    Absolutely! The Investment Bankers and Government hierarchy very much deserve their bonus and pay increases for all that they have spent to help in our economic recovery. How can the Seniors and the unemployed be deserving when they are contributing no money to our recovery?

    December 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  61. David, Rochester NY

    More importantly how is this spending increase being paid for? I can't imagine that Obama can possibly keep his campaign promise to not raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000 a year...

    December 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  62. Sharon from Boston, MA

    These federal workers should not be getting pay raises at all. Have you ever tried to get answers, or them to even pick up a phone call from a citizen who needs their assistance? Impossible. The elderly cannot make it even now, and sure we will hear deaths this winter because they could not even afford heat. Shame on Pres. Obama for signing the increases and garnering support from his party. And more shame on him for not raising the Social Security payments. Elderly don't count in this country. They are swept under the rug. Even Mrs. Astor wasn't safe and treated like dirt in her last years, so you can imagine what happens to these elderly who have a low income.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  63. Kerry Lamora Concord, NH

    Federal agencies do not need any increases, we need less federral government in our lives. It seems wrong to expect seniors to live without a cost of living increase but social security can give 24 million to the senators and congressmen so their heathcare records can be transfered to new electronic equiptment.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  64. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,

    They sure due, because around 6 month ago Social Security recipients received $250.00 in stimulus checks and may get a second shot in the arm early in 2010. While Federal employee's pay went unchanged yet again, it's time for a pay raise... By the way I am a disable Social Security recipient... Tax cuts are ok with republicans in these difficult times but more money for poorer Americans is wasteful government spending, please give me a break...

    Vinnie Vino
    Central Islip, N.Y.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  65. Suzanne

    If you are going to have your benefits tied to the cost of living and benefit when it goes up than when it doesn't go up you should get an increase. You can't have rule and then only use it when it goes in your favor.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  66. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    I'm not too concerned over Social Security recipients. The 'Greatest Generation' took care of itself in the 1960's. But, we do need legislative over haul ... where every bill needs to stand on its own merits. Packing very local amendments to major legislation is almost criminal.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    December 18, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  67. jayson1969

    Typical simplistic government bashing. Believe it or not, a lot of the spending increases go directly for public services. Public services serve the public. Imagine that. And these increases go to law enforcement/security, the NIH which plays a critical role in disease control...and - what I take issue with most with Cafferty's criticism - funding increases for the Veterans Administration.

    The VA benefits veterans enormously. Myself and other vets know this well. We've been shafted and seen our benefits cut multiple times in recent years, particularly by the Republicans that claim to care about us the most. It's about time some increased funding made it's way to those who have served this country.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  68. Bryan

    Bush's Fault Jack

    December 18, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  69. Randy in PA

    I voted for this administration based on the hope for change but with this news, and the fact that both parties DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, I am getting to the point of thinking that an overthrow of this government might be the only way to get change.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  70. W. K. Sexton

    The worst problem in America is the high cost of getting elected. The poor and elderly do not provide advertising money...and the ultimate recipient of that money...Big Media...won't slap the hands that feed them. Big Media won't cite the Ultimate Leader's many biblical instructions to help the less-fortunate. Bush cut taxes for the rich. Obama is bailing out the rich. The best thing about the dysfunctional Obama Adminstration and Congress this year is that apathy is being erased. Senior citizens, who ARE experiencing rising prices for food, energy and medicine, will lead a polling revolution next fall. Incumbents, especially those who are servants of themselves, surely are already sensing the anger of their constituents.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  71. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    Federal employees should be sharing the same sacrifices the millions of Americans without jobs, without health care, with kids shipped off to support the corrupt governments in Afghanistan and the wing nuts in Iraq. How about hiring every one who is out of job until we send the Marines on to Wall Street to re-claim our national wealth at gunpoint. There is an atmosphere of nose thumbing across the political spectrum. Sen. Aetna Leiberman openly represents the insurance companies, the Republicans vote again everything except more war, Goldman Sachs, et.al. write themselves bonus checks with the money they stole from the working folks 401k plans andwe reward the federal employees charged with protecting the public interest. It super sucks.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  72. Larry Wisc Rapids, WI

    Ya gotta love it! Change as Obama see's it belongs in the pocket of a select few! As the famous words of Alfred E. Obama "yes we can't"!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  73. Perry Stufflebeam

    I am a senior. Lets let the government try to make it on no increases. They believe I and 50 million other seniors have been supporting the government for most of our working life it seems normal we continue following retirement.

    Please, people in the government we did our part. How fulfilling the promises made?

    Perry Stufflebeam

    December 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  74. Mike

    Nope; sounds like "business as usual."
    Which, ironically enough, was what Senator McCain was constantly accused of during the campaign.
    P.T. Barnum was right: There's one born every minute.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  75. harold, Phoenix,AZ.

    I am presently on social security. Yes, I would love the cola, if I am correct, the cola is based on inflation, no inflation, no cola. As to whether the departments deserve an increase, I don't know

    December 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  76. joe Jarvis

    No surprise here, this man is totally out of touch with reality, he has no idea about the real America that we all live in all he can think of is tax and spend and of course plan his next Jet setting trip. Even that he does not realize the millions that he is wasting every time he fires up Air force one for his next hot date. The amount of man power, equipment, fuel, security, costs and of course all meals and housing for his cronies. This man acts like he is out spending his welfare check, which in a way he is we are footing the bill while he accomplishes absolutely nothing. Love this change!!!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  77. Sherry

    I am a senior (65 plus) and while I agree some agencies deserve the increase......NOT ALL. Give me a job.....I will work my butt off. I hate being retired (not by choice). Come on, let's spend where it is deserved. I worked at my job 30 years, raised children as a single parent and until recently never asked for help. That was only after I exhausted my retirement. Now, I'm nothing but old, almost homeless because I cannot make my mortgage payment and feeling desperate. Only until recently, I had no health insurance. So much for the "golden years".

    December 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  78. joe

    So many of todays businesses give raises or bonuses based on performance ratings. A set of goals and standards are used to measure performance. I do not recall that we have lowerd the standards of our Government workers nor can we see any of the Goals achieved that "we the people have been expecting". So why do they deserve a raise? Possibly because they have the power that we have given to them.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  79. Rick McDaniel

    The governmental agencies, always manage to give themselves raises, when almost no one else is getting them.

    I have had only 2 small increases in the past 8 years, while the government, at every level has given themselves raises.

    Social security recipients, have no other way to offset cost of living increases, other than a basic inflationary raise, which they were not granted. What sense does that make.......for working people to get increases, while retirees get nothing????

    December 18, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  80. Tina Tx

    Merry Christmas Jack. Heavens no. They make much more than most of us who are on Social Security. They make my stomach turn when they always slide in a pay raise as they are running to catch their plane out of town. I wish they would live in my shoes for a year and then lets see who continues to get a pay raise. I plan on voting for a clean slate come next voting time.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  81. travis

    The yearly increase for Social Security were put in place for cost of living increases and inflation. With the recent recession neither has increased markedly and so no there should probably not be an increase in the Social Security payment. The increase in operating budgets however is logical because of the increased funds from the stiumlus bill....makes sense to me.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  82. Janne from NC

    I have been the administrator of a long term care facility for 25 years. I learned some time ago that the government does not care one bit about the elderly. The elderly that truly depend on their social security checks (and these people are not AARP members) do not vote and pay little if any in taxes. Therefore there are no political repercussions to financially victimizing this population and few people will advocate for the impoverished elderly. In our state alone the reimbursement rate to care for these people has been cut to the point that it has actually become impossible to provide services but I can guarantee you our illustrious leaders are not going without anything.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  83. Mary M

    Why should anyone give the Feds a raise? Outrageous! Folks on Social Security can barely pay for their food and the feds are giving themselves a stimulus package? Come on, who do these guys work for? Themselves? No they work for us! I am so disgusted I can barely watch what is happening in the United States let alone our government. The government no longer represents the people and if it was put before a vote, no fed would have gotten any raise!!!!!!!!!!! I am tired of the government telling me what I need. Healthcare is a mess because of governmental bureacacy set up over 25 years ago. The feds have done such a bang up job with the VA and Medicare. Shame on them all!!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  84. Addie in Florida

    I worked for five federal agencies over a 33 year period. I can tell you that the federal government could CUT federal spending in each agency or office by no less than 10% and only lose the "fluff." This additional funding is a disgrace.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  85. Linda in LA, CA

    I work for a non-profit business. As the economy worsened, the execs reigned in spending and set new rates, procedures, etc for aquisitions. They re-evaluated hiring practices, positions needed and how the business was run. They cut waste! We all tightened our belts and worked together. We are surviving while others in our craft are failing. The govt seems not to understand what it needs to do in such times. They also need to evaluate, cut waste and tighten belts! Their own, not the taxpayer's! Take wage cuts, cut down hours worked, cut out fancy cars, trips etc. And NEVER should they vote themselves raises while everyone else is suffering!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  86. Sara

    Jack – social security increases are unfortunately tied to the rate of inflation. That's why we seniors are not getting an increase, not even benign neglect.

    I am on social security so I do wish I would get an increase, but whoever decided that increases be tied to the rate of inflation needs to fix that.

    Thanks.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  87. Rick Johnston

    Gov't workers DO NOT belong to Social Security and they not only deserve the 10%, I'll even request a REDUCTION in my Social Security in order to help these poor underpaid.....PUBLIC SERVANTS!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  88. nancy johnson

    I really need a cost of living raise...my health care supplement has gone up as well as my rent and my car insurance...I am 73 years old and still working because all I have is my social security and a 16,000 dollar a year salary...I live in the state of Louisiana and during our last hurricane my neighbor was sent out a generator at government expense because he works for the state of Louisiana..It is the same old thing...the ordinary people always get hurt......it will never change

    December 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  89. Stephen Pitts

    Why do Federal workers deserve 2% increases. It shows how CHANGE is BS I can't believe the Predsident signed this bill.

    CONGESS IS OUT OF CONTROLL.
    Stephen Pitts

    December 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  90. rrock

    Having worked for a federal agency I can state that they will always ask for more money and will definitely find a way to spend it. I find it amazing that people are without jobs, state workers are taking furloughs, everyone is cutting back, and the federal bureaucracy expands and gets raises every year. It seems that regardless of which party is in power they expand government even if they have to borrow money to do it. I guess all politicians drink the cool aide when they get to DC. God help our children.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  91. lance

    Neither "deserve" an increase of any sort.

    Government spending should be ZERO BASED – ie – it's spending budget should be re-justified from the ground up every year – not just automatically bumped as if everything that was paid for last year needs to be bought this year, with an inflation kicker or any other unjustified kicker across the board.

    As for Social Security – there is no true trust fund. We are taking a direct transfer from the working classes and transfering it to anybody over 65 years old – even though the over 65 crowd owns about 75-80 percent of everything. A safety net for the elderly with true need is one thing, but transfering money from the have-nots to someone on a pension and a $ million dollar home, etc. isn't even moral!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  92. Clark Hooks

    How can the government say that the CPI didn't increase in 2009 over 2008??? Look at the tables, they are public record and it is obvious they are wrong!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  93. Rose, Ohio

    Jack, does that really surprise us. Our elected officials who are acting like spoiled brats can't get anything done, we on the other had loose our houses, our jobs, our health care, half our pensions and anything else they can find to take away from us. Where I work we have not had a raise in over two years so do they deserve more HELL NO................................

    December 18, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  94. Mike

    Jacksonville, Florida

    Ah, so now you understand, Jack. Us peasants actually work to support the "political class" and their minions – including their mercenary military force. The only difference between this and North Korea is degree.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  95. Karl from SF, CA

    You are mixing apples and oranges here or maybe it’s Republicans with reality. The spending bill is just that, the money the government needs to operate and get us out of the ditch George Bush and the Republicans so gladly drove us into. The earmarks you mention sound like jobs to me. When Social Security got COLA, back in 1975, it got a formula to determine raises in benefits. Per the official SS site, which I have read often, Congress has had nothing to do with SS raises since. Thanks again to George Bush’s economy that is still in ruins, we, yes I am on SS, don’t get anything. I’m just putting the blame where it really belongs. Of course that little $250.00 one-time payment they talked about once would help.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  96. Mary in Florida

    Jack if some of these federal employees are getting as much as a 10% increase in their pay, that means some of them are getting more money than all of my social security for the entire year. How can this be fair to the people of this country?
    This is not the kind of change people were wanting.
    I am so disgusted with our government and it does'nt seem to matter how you vote.
    These politicians in Washington are out of touch with reality and the common people. They have no idea of how hard it is for most people to survive. Shame on all of them...

    December 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  97. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Ah, well,
    I seem to remember a Senator saying A Billion here, a Billion there, pretty soon we're talking real money.

    People have been voting for this for 70 years now. Perhaps those Chickens are coming home to Roost.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  98. Steve

    Since increases are tied to the inflation rate–It is simplyt "the law." disabled Veterans also did not receive an increase.
    I also am a recipient. It would be nice if the premium on medicare did not go up and the deductible increased also. This just 'might' be reasonable.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  99. Ed from MD

    From a government of the people, for the people by the people that doesn't seem exactly fair or deserving. From a despotic, tyrannical goverment bent on serving itself and its own ambitions it seems deserving and even expected. It all makes perfect since as soon as you stop thinking of your government as good.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  100. jd2325

    Of course not. With prices for items still on the rise and people still in need of assistance due to this fact it is completely absurd to think that not only will social security benefits not increase, but agency budgets are increasing 10%. At a time of unprecedented spending another 1.1 trillion shelled out to government workers is ridiculous and seems heinous. This money, if anything, should go directly to the public or to the exploding deficit to try and hold back the inflation that will most assuredly come flooding in the future.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  101. Tom Doyle Livingston

    Jack you surprised me. You are talking about apples and oranges. While I as a retiree would love to have a raise, this money you are talking about is going to government employees much needed pay raises. They are working, producing employees and it is great to see them get a raise instead of a pink slip. That is progress. More progress is in the work projects much like Roosevelt's WPA.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  102. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    I think you are comparing apples to apples Jack.

    Most government agencies FBI, VA, are to aid us the people. So to increase their capabilities increases our capabilities and benefits.

    With that said however, before any increase in any government bureaucracy there should be thorough efficiency and improvement analysis. Much like what is going to be done to medicare to remove waste and redundancy.

    Also, I am a senior citizen and as much as I could use any extra money, if the cost of living did not rise as it has every year for decades, then why any increase if that is the basis?

    December 18, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  103. InfotainMe

    Yeah, this is a pure horror – more funding for Veterans instead of giving it to Haliburton.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  104. Casey | Ruth, CA.

    No, Jack, government employees should NOT get a raise. In fact, they should lose their health care insurance and have to buy some from that "oh, so, perfect free-market" for-profit industry... like the rest of us... at least those who can afford it.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  105. Bruce - Santa Cruz, CA

    If I read your piece correctly, it's not individual employees getting the 10% raises, it's the operating budgets.

    The FBI, the Veterans Health Administration and the National Institutes of Health are the major recipients, per your article. I think that it's easy to understand why these entities need more money. It's not to line pockets, it's to keep them functioning.

    Some people here seem to think that it's a 10% pay increase for federal employees.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  106. Phil Stephens

    NO! NO! NO! It's time to require the American voters to vote on the Federal Budget, it's only fair; right.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  107. Calvin Woods

    As a 60 yr old, unemployed for three years and without health insurance, the death of the healthcare initiative to add 55 yrs. and up to the Medicare program is a bigger blow. The president and democrats we elected to effect change have failed. Not just me, but all of us.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  108. ginny deane

    It is still hard for me to believe that the government is doing that to the elderly. I thought the new administration was going to make a big effort to do things thoughtfully and fairly. To kick the elderly around seems to be on the list of "Things to do". And I don't want to hear that inflation has not increased. Just go into the supermarket or anywhere else and tell me that prices are not increasing rapidly.
    Shame on Congress and our president for their behavior toward the elderly.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  109. Frances Pethick

    Not only do we get to pay for the earmarks that these "critters" insert in each and every bill...we also get to pay for 75% of their families Rolls Royce level of Socialized-Insurance coverage and guess what.....Senior citizens are the least of their worries. Guess those folks are just better and more deserving than seniors...or us taxpayers that support these services with our blood, sweat and tears.
    Robber Barons? Go figure..
    F. P.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  110. Raul, Texas

    Absolutely, NO! I am a fedral employee. This is crazy, in times like these when the economy is big-time in a depression is just WRONG. When is our government going to learn that there is a spending limit. The elderly deserved a C.O.L.A. increase not the Feds.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  111. don dean bradenton fl

    as the old song goes Pres OBAMA is a one trick pony

    December 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  112. Marion/Birmingham,Al

    Jack,do you really want these fiscal inept politicians to run our health care? How come the price of groceries are up but they say the cost of living is not? I believe they are so desperate to pass a bill they will push any bill through just so they can claim they passed a bill,and the quality of the bill be damned.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  113. Michele Ivarson

    When will the people that voted Mr. Obama into office start holding him accountable for his actions and reckless spending? In no way should there be an increase for any government worker when citizens that need their social security checks will not be getting them. How disgraceful the government has become!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  114. joyce larusso

    I've only been on SS for a few years, but learning hard lessons. I'm waiting to see if our Medicare payments, that are taken out of our SS are going to go up. AARP has already gone up. What happened to the one time $250 stimulus payment we were supposed to get. I guess if they don't give it to us, then they can afford the 10% government raise. What a joke.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  115. MNResident

    Budget bills show the government's true priorities, and this is a prime example of it. The Obama administration ranking? The SEIU gets top priority, while the elderly can go pound salt and eat dog food......

    December 18, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  116. Tom Harding

    Elderly/disabled people on SS should get an increase before any able bodied people. People that work have the option to work OT or a second job to increase income. Elderly/disabled do not have this option. Lets take care of out aging population, not hammer an extra nail in the coffin.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  117. David K

    This latest move doesn't surprise me. The economy tanked, our leaders talked about everything that went wrong (under the watchful eye of Congress and the Fed), they even admit it's a tough time for the average American and yet no one in the Senate, House, or White House decided to get into the boat along with the rest of us by taking a pay cut or a reduction in staff spending! Instead they hold hearings, talk about their outrage, give press conferences about how many people have lost their jobs or taken benefit and pay cuts, but meanwhile everyone on the federal payroll gets a pay raise! Where's real leadership when you need it? Definitely NOT in the Congress and NOT in either party! When will the citizens realize that for all the pomp and bluster of the two parties, the government has a way of serving the current member of government FIRST.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  118. Arthur in Chicago

    If the 10% increase supports the American people in a tangible sense, then I have no problem with it. You can't provide services if you have no funds. If it simply bloats a bureaucracy then I would consider it bad.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  119. Dennis Sherrod

    I didn't need Cash for Clunkers money for a new car. I didn't need money or tax credits to buy a house.
    But I do need money to live. My insurance premiums are going up. Utilities bills have gone up. Most everything else has gone up.
    Why can't I get enough money to live? If I buy a car or a house I get thousands, but if I need a little more Social Security to just survive, I get nothing.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  120. Jessica

    Here is one of the big differences: an act of congress does not determine a cost of living increase for SS recipients. A formulary is used. When the amounts do not warrant a cost of living increase, one is not given. Congress has nothing to do with this.

    By increasing the budget of the VA, they are attempting to improve the lives of veterans. By increasing the budget of the FBI and the Natl Institue of Health, they are trying to improve quality of life.

    Our government isn't perfect, but that doesn't mean it's corrupt. If you think you can do a better job, quit complaining and run for office.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  121. Joe

    Jack,

    You might mention that any increases in Social Security have a legal basis – the CPI-W – Consumer Price Index for Urban Workers and Wage Earners. Because the CPI-W did not go up last year, Social Security Recipients, like me, do not receive Cost of Living Increases next year. Nonetheless, there is a strong move in Congress to give Social Security recipients an extra $250 each next year.

    Joe,
    Bradenton, FL

    December 18, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  122. Jason

    I just received a 17.1% INCREASE in my Part D RX premiums!
    How can the Administration give NO COST OF LIVING to Seniors like me who live on a fixed income?
    Also, how can my Senators and Cong. Reppesentatives pass a law making it illegal for me to order the (2) prescription drugs I need from a Canadian source? Answer......FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!!!
    Jack,THX for the opportunity to voice my opinion. Keep up the great work!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  123. Jim

    Ah...it seem like only yesterday that I remember Obama saying that "the days of pork are gone". The "candidate" Obama is quite different than the "President" Obama.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  124. liam young

    Maybe you could mention that the 2% payroll increase is the smallest in over 30 years.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  125. Danny

    I think it's a disgrace on the American government, especially on Obama, to loan billions of dollars to AIG, General Motors, and Chrysler while poor and disabled people won't be getting a raise on social security. President Obama should be ashamed of himself!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  126. David Bakody Nova Scotia

    Move to Canada our Seniors got a raise 0.05%

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  127. fred

    Jack, NO,NO,HELL NO,snd no pay raise for federal workers,my wife is on SSand I work for the state of South Carolina and I will take a pay cut for the 2nd time in one year, NO,NO HELL NO!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  128. José Goenaga, Charlotte, NC

    Absolutely the wrong way to stimulate our economy. We retirees have paid heavily into the cofers, while we worked, so now we pay again.

    Bah humbug, Mr. President.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  129. Mary WV

    TO: Mike from Denver
    We deserve an increase because most of us paid into SS for 52 yrs. The Government did not object to that. Did they?
    How long have you worked and paid into SS and Medicare?

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  130. Michael M Phoenix AZ

    Voted for Obama, but NOW not to damn sure why. NO COLA for my lousy social security check, and can't find work as a teacher either out here in "McCain Country" thanks to our dumb state legislature.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  131. Robin B.

    Not No, but hell no. I for one am a struggling senior citizen, who finds it difficult to believe that they can restore historical property, but they can't give the nations seniors a measly 2% raise in income. We are in a ridiculous state of economic disaster, and Obama won't give a regularly scheduled raise to the people who helped to make this country great! They say we are not getting it because the cost of living has not gone up. I am finding it very hard to get from one check to the next and keep food in the fridge and keep the lights and water on each month. Has Obama gone to the grocery store lately?

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  132. richard baggs

    no
    I just retired! I want my increase! Wow!! Does this make me a special interest group ? Finally Iam part of our political system!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  133. mark cole

    Being a recently retired SSA Employee who worked under George Bush, I feel the need to remind everyone that you can only cut so much from operating budgets without seriously affecting the ability of Federal Agencies to continue to do their jobs effectively. You know that 2-3 hour wait for services at your local SSA Office? Guess why? Budget cuts have serverely affected the ability of that Agency to hire (and keep) qualified employees. Keep cutting budgets and you will get what you deserve in services.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  134. Roy Casto

    I'll tell you something Jack, as a senior and a disabled Veteran. To give this VA system or any Government agency an increase of any size is just plain dumb!
    I stopped going to VA health services years ago. You see they have some mighty pretty buildings, but the inside and the way they are run, Is just shameful at best. They need no more money, Just need a leader to shake them up and get them to care about Veterans...

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  135. Esther Massillon Ohio

    I don't mind not getting an increase I am disabled and on social security. I do not mind not getting 1200 an extra dollars a year. I like living on 1229 dollars a month. I get food stamps, HEAP credit for heat, discount on my phone bill of 12 dollars a month, and Food Stamps 16 dollars a month. I do not mind being below the poverty level 175%. I live in America the riches country in the world. I am luck I get to be free and speak my mind. I do not mind that there are people who will whine if they do not get a raise cause it is their right every year. it's a wonderful life Jack

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  136. Peggy G. Upper Michigan

    62 year old retired, it makes me so damn mad I don't even have an answer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  137. Rebecca

    Social Security is pegged to the cost of living index which currently does't reflect an increase...for the first time ever...therefore social security for seniors will not adjust up in 2010. ... your so called Big Government is the only way to function in the modern era. The great depression showed us that laisse-faire approach doesn't work – Big Government is good government.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  138. Ben

    Jack, you conveniently forgot to mention that so many of these programs have endured severe cuts over the past decade while Social Security has been untouched. Considering that the people of whom you speak are largely members of that enormous, extremely politically influential generation that benefited from government programs only to turn around and selfishly become Reaganites and warmongers in their old age...well, they've made their beds.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  139. Betty

    Of course Social Security will not increase, but I would be willing to bet my last S.S. dollar that Congress will vote themselves a healthy salary raise when it comes around. Do we need any further proof that term limits for congress are sooo needed?

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  140. jeff jackson, alabama

    The Republicans warned America that the
    democrats would expand government if elected
    to the oval office.
    So......quit sounding like this is a surprise to
    you.
    We got attack on 911 and Bush retaliated with
    a war and everybody stood for the pledge to our
    flag.
    Our enemies said we were soft and our citizens
    would tire of the war long before our attackers would.
    Now the people of America have proven our
    enemies right and the whole circle of C H A N G E !!!
    has come around.
    I've always said that Conservatives protect liberals
    from themselves from the beginning of time.
    JACK....go cry on somebody elses' shoulder.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  141. Herb

    It seems that our annointed president is nothing more than a political hack! He has cowtowed to all the political trash and old hat methods of thise he has followed. To cave in to all the pork spending and forgetting about the Seniors shows his true colors. He has , and possibly always was, a phony politician, like those he came after.
    I was one of those hopefuls who voted for him, but I'm now convinced that he is nothing more than a naive, hack !!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  142. Betty McDaniel

    Jack,does the 2% increase for federal workers,include our hard working congressmen? Doing this time when the American people are hurting,why would anyone deserve a raise in government? Spoken from a social security person who wil not get anything.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  143. chuck // coastal n.carolina

    This is a slap in the face. The federal governement does not deserve a pay raise when you have so many peopel still suffering...... WHAT HAPPENED TOO THE CHANGE WE VOTED FOR ???

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  144. Twana Casey

    The hard working, patriotic, and dedicted Americans who continued to build this country after our Forefathers, are being shafted by the current administration, in order to fortify the demands of ever increasing growth in big brother. It is a travesty. And to think our children, who we worked for , will have nothing to show for all of the past efforts.

    Butte LaRose, Louisiana

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  145. rick in northern california

    Why don't you lay off the president. The man is trying to do the best he can. How do you expect anything meaningful to develop when the republicans block everything. The only reason they voted for it was so they could get their earmarks in there. No one complained when we spent billions of dollars on a phony war thanks to George Bush. Did seniors see any of THAT money? And just who put all those earmarks in the new spending bill? I will give you 3 guesses. The repubs, The repubs and of course the repubs. If you are going to complain first get the facts about who added what to that bill. You think things are bad now? Wait until the republicans get back in office. Every program there is that helps anyone who makes under 150,000 a year will be canceled. Seniors will be even worse off than they are now. Republicans will be responsible for our downfall even when they aren't in power.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  146. Barry L. Gavette

    I've been getting screwed by our goverment so long I am ashamed to say it doesn't hurt anymore. Just pull the plug now.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  147. Robert Barone Sr

    Mr.Cafferty,
    They do not deserve a raise,as far as I am concerned all the Senators and congressman should get a 10 percent reduction in
    their paycecks.this includes the president.The seniors need the money to help pay for drugs and other items to keep them alive.Bad enough they are taking 500 billion from medicare,which they have no right to.It is now time for all the seniors to write ,call,email their representative and complain like HELL.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  148. Mable

    It is so sad that we will not get more money on our SSA checks. Some of have worked and paid into the government to get these checks. I donot understand how we can be over looked. It seems as if seniors like myself are being thrown to the wolves. What do we have to do stand in front of the whitehouse in our wheelchairs, crutchers or canes to beg for help. God help us all.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  149. T.J. Tampa

    It sucks Jack but the fact is Social Security payments are tied to the rate of infaltion and there was none last year. Thats just the deal. Fedaeral Agencies are not tied to inflation but the whim of politicans trying to buy or employ us uner 10% unemployment. Thats just the deal. I guess I'll have to send my parents a few more dollars next year to help ends meet. Thats just the deal.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  150. Carol Wacker

    No way. Also, Mr. Obama should veto the bill until they remove ALL the earmarks.If any of the projects are absolutely necessary, let each one come before congress for a vote separately.
    This debacle only strengthens my resolve to vote against each incumbent.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  151. andrea

    Yes, the agencies deserve it becuase they provide things to everyone, even SS receipients. If you want gov't services, LIKE SS, then you have to pay for them. I get so sick of seeing people whine about gov't spending but if you take their slice of the pie away, it's the end of the world.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  152. Dennis Sherrod from Birmingham, AL.

    I didn't need Cash for Clunkers money for a new car. I didn't need money or tax credits to buy a house.
    But I do need money to live. My insurance premiums are going up. Utilities bills have gone up. Most everything else has gone up.
    Why can't I get enough money to live? If I buy a car or a house I get thousands, but if I need a little more Social Security to just survive, I get nothing.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  153. Doug Eavenson

    No surprise that Seniors will be left out in the Cold re no increase in Social Security. Same treatment as with Health Care – let them wither on the vine. No use, no mo, no way. But we do vote!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  154. brian

    Jack, you failed to mention that these government jobs already pay roughly twice that of similar jobs in the private sector. Maybe Wall Street doesn't get it, but neither does our President. It is a good day to be in government. Brian

    December 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  155. Laura

    If I hadn't read that it was going to Veteran's Health Administration (veteran's DESPERATELY need to be better taken care of, they've given a helluva lot more to this country than the average citizen) and NIH (health in general is severely overlooked in this country) I would say no, they don't deserve it. But the money that goes into this, especially NIH, could end up benefitting the senior population anyway.
    Laura

    December 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  156. Jim from Wisconsin

    Obama said he was going to make changes and Yes sir he is. He did not say if it was going to be good or bad. Bigger and Bigger and Bigger government. It just keeps growing.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  157. FLPROF

    The 2% raise for Federal employees is a slap in the face for others who are paying taxes for the federal raises, but received no raises, or had hours cut this year. These federal employees are the same ones who are collecting fat pensions on the taxpayers while many of those taxpayers have lost their pensions, or much of them. How is this just?

    December 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  158. harry Stutzel

    How can us seniors thank the elected officals in the House and Congress for not increasing our social security benefits? By not voting for any of them. NO incumbent should receiveany votes.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  159. Dennis

    NO!!!
    As a Disabled Veteran, my retired pay actually went DOWN this year because the cost of dental insurance WENT UP! Result: Retired pay received DECREASED!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  160. margaret

    no! they don't deserve nothing they have plenty anyway and still want more.....what is wrong with our goverment wants more from the tax payer and dont won't to help the ones on ssi they are thrown in the ditch.......

    December 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  161. steve in virginia

    Not at all. And how can the cost of living increase 2% for federal workers and 0% for senior citizens? This is yet another example of the Dems proving that Sarah Palin was right when she said that this administration considers the value of senior citizen's lives to be less than others.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  162. Burgess Gardner

    No they do not. It seems as if government wants to take everything from ordinary citizens and continue to be FAT CATS. We should throw all of the bums out. Especially Congress.

    South Holland, IL

    December 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  163. Greg From Pennsylvania

    I don't know enough to comment on the buget increases for various Federal Agencies. The departments cited DO appear to be the kind of agencies that a conservative congress would have previously cut funding for. So maybe they need the boost in funding.

    What I DO know is that there should probably be a freeze on Federal pay raises for anyone GS-9 and higher. For several years in fact.

    And just for the record, I'm a GS-11 Federal Emplyee.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  164. John in Washington

    Jack,
    What did you expect? There is only 1 thing the Dems are good at... and that is spending the hard earned money of other people, wastefully. I cannot say that enough times! The Dems are WASTING OUR MONEY! People need to wake up, and stop glorifying this President! He is spending and borrowing us to the point to where our long-term economy is irrecoverable. If I were a senior I would enraged because I would know I had given to society all my life, and for my part made this country a little better; then to be robbed by these villians.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  165. mark emerson cline

    The issue is not the american dollar, it is the world currency bank that is set up now by the Rockefellars. Fiat money is not reported in the M3 money report. Next year, inflation will erode what left of your wealth then; following the loss of your stock portfolio, pension, home, health and heathcare. You can look foreward to hyperinflation in less than two years. There is a strong possiblity of a electrical impulse bomb shutting down all that runs on electrical energy. You'll need a horse to go where you want to go...if you can get through the people in your concrete jungle. Don't worry about your job, you won't be broadcasting, it is doubtful if you will be able to get a drink of water, or a morsel of food. So, there you are, and that thou art. As my brother and I used to say before you ( a Youngster) even thought about it, is we can't eat paper dollars, and between you and me, Sir, you don't really have any gold or silver, do you ? You just have dollar (defunct) fiat, worthless dollars, so please think twice about how you inform the people, why don't you tell them what is really going on.
    Respectfully, Mark Cline, Oklahoma

    December 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  166. Carole-Winchester VA

    The President's campaign for change -it seems with this latest stimulus
    bill that once again it is all for the government and so unbeliveable that there will be no increase for social security so I guess Jack this is what he
    means by change but in reality – NO CHANGE

    December 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  167. Rick Wills

    This just doesn't make sence. All of our employees have excepted a pay freeze and the goverment employees that work for them get a raise. A 10% budget increase is just stuped! Get out in the real world and see how small busines ishaving a really hard time.
    Mr. President please stop spending so much and find ways to save!
    Richard a (Rick) Wills
    President
    Rick's Saddle Shop Inc
    9 Water Street
    Englishtown NJ 07726

    December 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  168. Norm Helget

    Doesn't sound too fair to me. Price of everything else is going up. I've already been notified my Part D drug premium is going up. Hate to see what is going to happen to my supplementary policy.
    Ouch!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  169. Carolyn Sener Plattsburgh, New York

    Social Security, thats a joke. I paid all my quarters to qualify for SS and because I worked for the Federal Government for 23 years, I am being discriminated against and they take away about 60%. I am 72 years old and I still have to work. Where is the justice in this country. What happened to regulations that protected the people from the money hungry Washington politicians that keep their pockets fat while we struggle every day.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  170. Andrea

    The Republicans should be upset. After all, they saved so much money during the Bush Administration. And certainly they wouldn't be so hypocritical as to criticize a bill if they actually added to the cost by way of earmarks. Would they, Jack?

    December 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  171. Homeless D

    NO NO NO NO NO

    But, isn't that the way it goes?

    If you think that's bad, look into why those on unemployment in the state of Ohio may not have had their benefits in several weeks. According to the folks in the Governor's office, and some local news stations, it is due to a computer glitch.

    Christmas is less than a week away. Some people will not even have the money for a dinner because their benefit has not come.

    I (being a Social Security recipient) feel bad that we are not getting a COLA this year. But at least I will have Christmas Dinner, while many in Ohio will not.

    Can you guys look into this?

    December 18, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  172. Chuck

    I am 50, laid off ,I've paid into Social Security for 32 years.Where is my COLA for something that will not exist? Expand the government, bring back the CCC. Have the nation go onto a war footing.And Socialize the Health system, nationalize Big Oil. Install term limits for the House and Senate.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  173. Tom Maher

    Jack:

    Normally, i find your questions fair and illuminating. This one is unfair as it is a gross simplification that makes the spending appear calloused as compared to spending on elderly Americans. You and I both know that you need to know the details of the 10% increase and its strategic purpose of the investments before questioning in blanket form the wisdom of such investments. Feels to me that the question is loaded.....

    December 18, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  174. mary Jensen

    NO!!!!!! They are the idiots that got us in trouble to start with. They so called borrwed our ssi years ago, and never paid that back. Know we live on fixed incomes, and the fat boys play with our money. Some Thing wrong with this picture? I'm moving to Canada!!

    Mary
    New Richmond, Wisc..

    December 18, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  175. rc

    Tax and spend, tax and spend, tax and spend. By the end of his term w"ell be longing for the good old days when Bush was in charge!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  176. Jim

    No they shouldn't. When will the goverment go where they should which "0" base budget. That way you justify all the money, not just the increase.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  177. Tommy in DC

    Jack: I remember you once said, "Those guys [veterans] deserve gold-plated bedpans." Now we are supposed to question increases in VA spending? Ah, the 24 hour cable news cycle.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  178. rick

    I voted for Pres. Obama with faith he would provide insurance for my unemployed father who was forced into collecting social security at the age of 62. He is living at poverty level and desperately needs a 10% increase in his social security check. Now it seems he not only will remain uninsured but short changed at the expense of a democratic bureaucracy filled pork for the people he promised to cut off. I've been very disappointed with our presidents decisions this fall, and believe he has lost touch with his base.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  179. Robert Barone Sr/Connecticut

    The answer is NO WAY.What they all need is a 10 percent reduction in pay.Seniors,it is time to fight for our rights.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  180. chaney, La.

    We do not get acost of living raise because according to the government , we had no inflation,.... I do not know how they get this because everything I seem to buy has increased in price....they think we are old and dont know any better I guess.....

    December 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  181. Jon F

    A 2% pay increase for government workers sounds reasonable – but only if that same increase is given to Social Security recipients.

    Overall, government spending needs to be curbed on most, if not all fronts. We have tried to spend our way out of this recession and failed miserably. Time for our government to tighten its belt. What happened to the line by line trimming of the federal budget that Obama promised repeatedly in his campaign?

    December 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  182. Lois Smith

    I wish that the people passing all these bills; including "no increase in social security"; had to live for just one year on the .....($694.00) a month that I live on...........! Bet they'd pass a raise so fast it would make your head SPIN!!! But then I guess studying the mating habits of some animal, or some other bazaar and wasteful bill is just more important than the people who gave these idiot's life!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  183. Frederick Davis

    The size of increase has no bearing on the prior budget. President Obama has different priorities than President Bush had. Bush had cut back markedly on some social programs in favor of borrowing to fund a tax cut for the wealthy; a debt that we are struggling with now.

    Increases in Social Security payments are based upon the rate of inflation supposedly to maintain purchasing power. Bottom line a change in priorities would effect different budget allocations differently hopefully based upon need.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  184. Scott, PA

    Yes. Social Security is tagged to inflation and with the economy actually have hovered the line between deflation/inflation they are doing exactly the same as before. Giving social security recipients and increase is irresponsible for all the money hawks out there.

    Assuming this blog is slanted, the selected earmarks aren't very terrible. A farmers market? Allowing greater access to healthy food doesn't seem that bad, its not like the bridge to nowhere.

    If social security recipients want more money they should encourage Congress to take SS funds from all income rather than the 70k or so they do now.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  185. Calvin mchenry

    hypepocracy

    December 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  186. RoseRichCritic

    Jack this is a simple no brainer question, the answer is NO NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!!
    Im disabled and live on SSI and while I see the cost of everything around me going up it makes hard for me to survive. I get $600 a month to live on and I cant even get food stamps!
    Next year I am thinking seriously about selling my home since I cant pay the taxes on it, the utilities and maintenance. Im going to have to sale my Van because I cant afford the insurance and maintianance and taxes on it and I may have to move into one of those pay by the week motels because I be damed if I have to move into a nursing home, Ill live on the street first!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  187. Anna Pierce, New Rochelle, NY

    The answer to the problems created by reckless spending, borrowing and lending is not MORE spending, borrowing and lending. This government is out of control.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  188. RichP the Pocono's

    With the unemployment rate where it is and climbing a raise for civilian employees is the last thing we need, that money should be going towards paying for and extending benefits for those out of work. What exactly are those govt employees going to do, quit ? Fine, let em, there are over 10 million people willing to fill those jobs. This is big government buying employees and making government the number 1 employer in the country.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  189. Helen

    I am 76 years old, and I have been notified that not only do we (my husband and me) no get a cost of living raise, but our medicare payments have gone up to the tune of $68, so we will have that much less to live on. This is our only income. Drug costs are up, too.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  190. Joyce Heinz

    Obviously not. Although there has been no inflation both health care premiums and drug costs have gone up. I guess these are not factored in for consideration. I'd also like to see someone look more closely at the disparity between what the average gov employee gets in health care benefits and what our Senators and Reps get. They are not equal. Let's just stop all the discussion and just give every American what our Congress gets.
    PS I think we also should get to vote on our own salary increases as they do!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  191. Jack H. - Destin, FL

    Increases to government departments can be cut at any time. Social Security is forever (Imagine trying to reduce payments on that!).

    December 18, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  192. Steve

    How large can I write this NO!!!!! This guy (Obama) is no different than any other politician. He talks a great game and gives a great speech, but that's it!!!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  193. Barry L. Gavette

    Been getting screwed so long it doesn't hurt any more. Why don't they just pull the plug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  194. Tracie Hall

    This saddens me deeply,i am 50 years old and disabled,i live on 704.00 a month.I voted for President Obama.I so wanted to believe that he was going to make changes that would help all the people in this country.I watched his interview recently about how the american people had a right to be angry over the banks bailouts,and the bonuses.I trust cnn,to report the truth i always have.It seems so hypocritical to me that our president can say the people have a right to be angry over the bank deals,and he claimed to want to help those of us who are hurting badly in this country.The recession has hit all americans hard,that is obvious but i ask you President Obama do you think you can live on $704.00 monthly.Have you even been to the market recently i can barely afford to eat let alone the other basic human necessities.Maybe it would serve the American people well if all of our elected officials were made to live on the budgets that They deem is suffient for us to live on,i am sure if they had to do that there would be all kinds of changes then.So this Christmas while our elected officials are in thier warm homes with thier fancy dinners and lots of gifts under the tree,put yourself litterally in our shoes on fixed incomes.I have no doubt they could never live as we do,yet they ask us too.Then they ask us to vote for them pay for thier lifestlyes and have faith in them.
    Tracie A Hall

    December 18, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  195. Dave Harris

    I cant remember a more corrupt congress or senate,im 60,and have voted most of my life,cant see me voting again.Whoever you vote for seem to forget what they promised,or why they even wanted to serve,I guess the greed takes over and they see all the graft in Washington,and just go along.Hope they enjoy there raise–again.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  196. Mark

    The unfortunate issue is that Social Security recipients paid in to this fund all their working lives. They are not just receiving tax money they are receiving their money.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  197. Uncle Sam in Florida

    Jack I heard on CNN that any increase in social security was based on the consumer price index. The CPI says the cost of living expense did not go up in 2009. Really???
    I can recall when the gasoline prices went up, everything including food prices went up.When gas prices dropped a few cents on the gallon, I did not see the food price go down and neither did anything else for that matter. I guess these people that work for consumer price index have a better way to stretch the dollar than I can.
    Who's foolin who?????

    December 18, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  198. Linda

    Jack,

    I am all for retirees receiving their due, but there should be a study to see how many seniors are in real need for a raise. Many retirees that I know are much better off than my husband and I are. If they truly need it then by all means give it to them.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  199. Jim

    Those of us eligible for Social Security and Medicare are already getting way more than our share of the national treasure. I am appalled when my peers think the government owes us more while complaining about the cost of government.

    That does not mean that the increased spending is appropriate – nothing excuses the outrageous earmarks.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  200. Lisa M. Buestrin, Wisconsin

    Thank you for bringing attention to the $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by the Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress, & signed by Obama. It is evident that spending (and tax) increases are the liberal Democrats' priorities, because they believe in expansive federal government regulation of every aspect of our lives. Not only are they moving the US toward a socialist system, but they are doing it in a sneaky way while Americans are busy preparing for Christmas, and more. The Republicans in Congress are trying to stop Obama, Pelosi, Reid, et al, but need more votes to succeed, a problem that voters could solve in 2010.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  201. Norma Proie

    Why are the social security recipients the ones made to suffer, while the others are having their incomes increased. Remember, for retirees......there are no more pay raises or bonusus. Receiving the nice little notice, that we wouldn't be receiving any increase in our social security this year was very thoughtful.....but "no thanks"......they should have saved the money spent on the notices to supplement a needy cause. All of the over 65 crowd aren't fortunate enough to own 75 to 80% of everything.....Where do those figures come from? Maybe things would be better without the fancy "galas", parties, fancy luncheons and gift giving that the politicians seem to be the recipients of today.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  202. wilbur deeter

    Fair- there is nothing fair about it. I gave 20 y ears of the best years of my life to this country and this is the way the congress awards me. I only hope and pray that every pers who put this legislation thru will awaken to find themselves in need and no one is there to give it to them. maybe the president will see a vision to understand what ias fair and what is not.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  203. tom macurdy

    Regarding SS and Gov. Depts. increase in buget; simply put, NO!!!
    Many years ago I was campaign manager for late Senator John Heinz , a republican and now an old democrat who voted for our current president expecting some change.
    Tom, 75 in Colorado

    December 18, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  204. Bernard McDonald

    You paint with a very broad brush with little attention to what government agencies accomplish for our citizens. I am retired from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and am on Social Security where my yearly support is linked to inflation. Many years I have received Social Security increases that exceeded the percent raises for federal workers. But you should ask what do agencies do for our nation? The National Science Foundation supports graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, researchers, technology innovation, science education, engineering and science research at a modest overhead of about 5%. Science is the engine for our economy and many agencies, like NSF, hold the best hope for our nation's future through cutting-edge science and the production of our future scientists and engineers. These agencies have been starved for years...I applaud a 10% increase and wish it were 20%.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  205. Mable Eastman Ga

    No it is not fair that people working for the government get a raise. They should refuse the raise and tell the government to give it to the people who has paid their dues, like myself. I hope that we donot have to picket the whitehouse in our wheelchairs or on our canes or crutches.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  206. Greg G

    Yes, some government agencies should get 10% increases to be able to do their jobs. Many agencies were 'starved' of funds over the last eight years so that they couldn't do their jobs properly and that has to be made up. The damage has to be repaired, like it or not. As for government employees getting 2%, what did they get last year and the year before? Let's not judge before we have all the facts. As for SS recipients, not getting a raise in benefits is sad because of the cost of medicare going up, not because of social security itself (on average, all other costs for seniors went down). Address the problem where it actually occurs, in Medicare (and if we'd expanded Medicare to those 55 to 64 they'd have paid higher rates and actually could have made the situation better).

    December 18, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  207. Tracie Hall

    December 18th, 2009 5:27 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    This saddens me deeply,i am 50 years old and disabled,i live on 704.00 a month.I voted for President Obama.I so wanted to believe that he was going to make changes that would help all the people in this country.I watched his interview recently about how the american people had a right to be angry over the banks bailouts,and the bonuses.I trust cnn,to report the truth i always have.It seems so hypocritical to me that our president can say the people have a right to be angry over the bank deals,and he claimed to want to help those of us who are hurting badly in this country.The recession has hit all americans hard,that is obvious but i ask you President Obama do you think you can live on $704.00 monthly.Have you even been to the market recently i can barely afford to eat let alone the other basic human necessities.Maybe it would serve the American people well if all of our elected officials were made to live on the budgets that They deem is suffient for us to live on,i am sure if they had to do that there would be all kinds of changes then.So this Christmas while our elected officials are in thier warm homes with thier fancy dinners and lots of gifts under the tree,put yourself litterally in our shoes on fixed incomes.I have no doubt they could never live as we do,yet they ask us too.Then they ask us to vote for them pay for thier lifestlyes and have faith in them.
    Tracie A Hall

    December 18, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  208. Ronald D Stephens

    I worked for over 50 years and pay tax for the same amount of time I am now on social security and plus I am a disable veteran it is very hard t o make it on the little money I get but the government can take the tax payers money and give their self a rise. United States most remember how the Roman Empire ended. Good luck America.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  209. Katrena

    Jack,

    This is the first time I have written to you, but I couldn't sit back without expressing myself. The Federal Workers don't need a raise right now, we do, The senior citizens. I believe the economy will get better soon. I have had to cut back on food, medication and fuel in order to make ends meets, We seniors are on a fixed income and I mean it is FIXED. The government fixed it. Get off of our backs Mr. Govt.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  210. Mike in Detroit

    I'm one of those seniors who's getting coal in his stocking this year. I recently received notice my supplemental medical insurance is going up 14.5% in January (as it should when inflation is near zero), so why shouldn't the government staff get a raise, too? I mean, compared to health insurance, their 10% is a bargain, isn't it?

    December 18, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  211. Bob norris

    this is not the Obama that I voted for. He tells us that we have to help get the country moving. Maybe he should quite flying all over the world every week at our expense. We have cut back and now he is no better than the bankers by giving themselves raises. How 2 face can you get.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  212. Chief Bendingiron

    Pelosi can fly her family and staff to Copenhagen for a holiday junket on our dime, but an end to this outrageous practice is moving faster than her personally assigned military plane can fly. The Democrats had a sweet, but short, run on our bank. As a Social Security recepient, I'll vote for Hugo Chavez before I ever vote for another Democrat.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  213. Spencer

    Didn't Obama promise an end to earmarks and pork-barrel politics? I can understand the failure of bipartisanship (after all it takes two to Tango), or the continuation of all of Bush's foreign policies (the world is a harsh place), but this $4 billion in pork?

    The current "health care reform" bill is gonna cut Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals by up to 22%, but we need billions to renovate historic buildings and farms?

    This is change I wish I didn't have to believe ...

    December 18, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  214. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Looks to me like the idiots in charge are making sure the idiots who do nothing but mooch of the American taxpayers get a raise for doing nothing. Just take a trip to any Federal bldg. and I would say that you will find at the minimum sixty to seventy percent of the people there doing nothing.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  215. Jaycie, Los Angeles

    Didn't we hear just yesterday that whlle a job in the private sector pays $40,000 a year, a similar job in the federal government pays $70,000? This is obscene and unjust, if true. No wonder we can't afford healthcare for all or pay our other bills! Please use your great skills to find out just how many of these $40,000 jobs that pay $70,000 there are, and let us know how we can get one!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  216. Betty

    The average person on social security, draws on the average of $800-$1200. I would like to see the senate and congress people live on this much, but they always have money to give themselves a raise but are always trying to cut the seniors in raises or medical. Obama when he took office said he would help the seniors because he knew how his grandmother lived, where is the help all I have heard about is cutting, cutting, cutting. I think the house, the senate when their re-election comes up I think we should have the guts to vote them out and clean house. This government is a joke, I am a democrat but if things keep going this way I may become a republican at least the republicans are trying to keep them from cutting everthing from the seniors. This goverment is a joke.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  217. Barbara in NC

    Why are you pointing blame at Obama? Please clarify that it's our Congress that does these things – oh, not contentious enough, is it.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  218. JGanhs

    I can see where may government departments might need budget increases to be able to operate in this day and time. And if that means that the folks on SS have to go without that would be fine if our illustrious congress people would do without their undeserved pay raise. I am willing to bet they didn't stop their raise this year to help our ailing economy or budget. No it will be left for someone else to worry about, le time get mine now and the heck with all else appears to be the normal for most Americans. That is the way our two party system is working now days. I believe the only true solution to this is to scrape the two party system and go back to a government of the people by the people.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  219. Steve in Ohio

    Jack, I've been on Social Security just 3 years because of having ALS/ Lou Gehrigs. I worked as a paramedic for 20 years and never saw more than a 3% raise. There job is not worth a 10% raise. My idea is to cancel all the pork spending and give every tax paying American a Christmas bonus. Thanks

    December 18, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  220. sharp2

    Seniors are being hit on all sides from this administration. There is no rest for the weary.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  221. John

    Absolutely not. Our government needs to "stand down". The federal government has been a part of this whole "financial bubble/burst" from the get go. When are they going to " bite the bullet" and do what's right for this country. We certainly don't need all the programs that exist. Contraction must happen in the federal government as well as Wall Street, because from what I can tell, Main Street is the only one that's been through the ringer on this one. We're getting our hats handed to us, but Wall Street and the Feds are flying high once again. Isn't that lovely. That happened in France once I think. 🙂

    December 18, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  222. Marilyn

    I am disabled and social security. Because I cannot work, not getting an increase in my social security benefit causes a financial hardship.
    Why should people wh can work get an increase when the economy is in such bad shape. I consider this to be just as bad as bankers getting bonuses.

    Marilyn G
    Texas

    December 18, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  223. harold Exline

    Obama is a one term president damaging the country and his political future. He promised change however I never envisioned this kind of change from a democratic president. He has not shown the greatness that he projected during his presidential campaign and fallen in line with the old school of politics in Washington. Enough is enough and the politicians still didn't get the message. The latest slap in the face for seniors not getting any SSI increase while the Medicare cost was increased and government workers were given increases. I thought we were all in this depression together, what happened to the team? Now it's us and them as usual. The next election should be very interesting now that the Tea Party Activists have the current history to recall. We need a total routing of the politicians in Washington, no more incumbents, no more career politicians.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  224. Greg from Texas

    The Declaration of Independance was signed to free people from the clutches of an financially overbearing and tariff-happy government.

    Unfortunately, our current government is mimicking the same system that true patriots, our founding fathers, declared their independance from so many decades ago.

    The United States government MUST stop prepetuating our state of debt or there will be severe consequences much further reaching than mere monetary hardship.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  225. Melissa

    I don't understand the question here –

    We are asking essentially why one government hand-out has been substituted for another government hand-out. Social security isn't a giant savings account that you paid into all of these years, which earned interest, so that you could comfortably retire. It is in fact, a government handout, funded by a specific tax collection...

    December 18, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  226. Jerry

    Jack, These are Obama's employees, you treat them with a good above average salary, they will vote for you again. Me, I'm on disability, I get no raise either, But then again I'm not going to vote for him or the Democrats again. Jerry/ Iowa

    December 18, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  227. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Give us our damd money you scoundrells .

    December 18, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  228. Janice from Kansas

    Am I surprised??? No.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  229. Rolando DePuy

    I am absolutly surprise... The people that needs it more ( an increase)
    is put aside... I have always believe that the President was for the people that need it more....

    December 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  230. Bill, Illinois

    The zero rise in social security was acredited to the alleged fall of consumer prices. How therefore could a 2% pay increase for federal workers be approved

    December 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  231. Kurfco

    You are wrong to link the fact that Federal agency folks got a 10% raise to Social Security recipients getting no increase. These are two totally separate events. The government workers should not have gotten the 10% increase in the middle of a terrible recession. Social Security recipients were not entitled - by statute - to an increase because the inflation index to which recipients' benefits are linked did not go up. The reason they got no increase for the first time in three decades, as you reported, is that the underlying index did not go up for the first time in three decades. Social Security isn't supposed to be a slush fund from which politicians disburse funds to curry favor with seniors. It is governed by law.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  232. Margi in Ky

    Ok, the Federal Departments get an increase, Congress – both senators and representatives get pay increases but the old folks will just have to make do. Doesn't surprise me based on how the last 11 months have gone.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  233. jim

    jack shame on us what happen to for the people by the people 10% for what the old are out after yrs of paying in the shame but we have money to gave other nations.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  234. Gary

    Jack; I'm on SS and have med-advantage with Regence BCBS and my premium went up over 100% from last year. I didn't get an 100% increase in my monthly SS !! To me something isn't "wrong in Denmark" it's something is "wrong in our nations' Capital" Take away the insurance companys' exemption to anti-trust laws and enforce the ICC regulations!!
    I have had it with our congressmen they don't care about the average citizen.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  235. j leb

    Seniors built this nation, they earned it. They should be the first with the sick people to have access to their money..
    Cut the Military, the pork barrel, the politicians, but not the seniors..

    December 18, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  236. tdr

    Come on now, haven't we learned by now that a politician will say anything to get elected? It doesn't matter what party they belong to, it doesn't matter how outlandish it is, they will always find out what those people in opposition to the current political party want to hear and "promise" change. Then when they are elected they will come up with some excuse to do the same thing the previous group that was in power was doing. Only now they are in power. Anything to get into and stay in power. That's American politicians, plain and simple. Live with it or get out and vote to change it. This president is no different than any other president.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  237. robert barker

    Jack:

    In 1973, Congress passed a bill which was signed by President Nixon that ties social security increases to the inflation rate. Because there was no inflation during the last quarter of 2008 or thru the third quarter of 2009, by law a COLA cannot be granted to social security recipients. Congress did prevent an increase in Medicare premiums next year.

    Robert Barker

    December 18, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  238. Dean Lomis, Ph.D.

    Seniors are the backbone of the economy because they require expeditures for themselves, for their health problems (thank God at 78 I don't have any, yet), for their residences (they too are older), for their children (they always like to get them something), and of course ALWAYS for the grandchildren (and I have 8 of them). The pitance increases given in the past to seniors were put back in the economy.
    This year I and my senior friends have decided that only grandchildren will get something, and that something will be minimal just for the sake of the holidays. Government employees, including politicians, should be the first to have their pays cut as a symbol of "patriotism" (what's that), if nothing else!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  239. Loren, Chicago

    It's easy to say any increase in government spending is inappropriate, but the problem as always remains one of priorities. An increase in spending on Social Security is an increase in government spending, remember the trust fund doesn't really exist. The problem as always is how the money is being spent, and not enough focus is spent by our leaders on useful spending and wasteful spending. Earmarks are an easy target, but even those sometimes are necessary expenses It would be nice if we had a President and Congress that spent the taxpayers money as if it were their mother's, rather than manna from heaven.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  240. sam

    No. The private sector isn't getting any kind of increase either. The government will always get their increase...ever since lawmakers were allowed to decided their pay they critize others but give themselves an increase. It's unconstitutional, if you ask me, to spend more than you have...what's the US credit score I wonder? -800 pts?

    December 18, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  241. adam

    Privately owned businesses rarely enjoy an increase in their budget unless they simultaneously enjoy an increase in their revenues, and instead must constantly think of newer, better, and more cost efficient way of doing things. Why can't our president lead a similar policy within governmental institutions by re engineering governmental processes in a way that saves money? It's not like there isn't much room for improvement!

    I never thought I'd say it, but I'm totally voting Republican next time around!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  242. Lester in Kennewick

    Government budgets at all levels including county, state and federal are ballooning. The taxes needed to fund these budgets are choking the life out of business and private citizens. It really doesn't matter who is in control. It seems to be a spending race with both parties speeding full throttle toward the cliff in order to win. In yester years the deficits were measured in millions. More recently billions. Now we measure them in trillions. These figures are much larger than the average citizen can comprehend. It's unfortunate that most of today's governing officials will be long gone and unaccountable when the day of reckoning arrives.....

    December 18, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  243. KKN

    To whoever said "Yea, and the 700,000 + of us waiting for our Social Security Disability to be approved get zippo as well!" How many of you could get out there and work if you really wanted to? And to others above who state that Fed employees are getting a 10% raise, get your facts straight.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  244. Michael Hsu

    The whole premise of social security is that you give to the government now (with social security "contributions") and the government promises to pay you back more money than you contributed during your lifetime after your retire.

    Of course the dirty secret is that: (1) once you retire, the newly elected congress might decide to "renege" on its promise and reduce your benefits (oh, by about $500B), (2) the "death panels" might refuse to allow you to get the necessary medical treatment so that you can actually live to retirement age.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  245. Gary in Cleveland

    Of course. Social Security increases are based on a cost-of-living formula. Last year they got 5.8%. This year the COL didn't rise. It probably won't for next year either. Federal employees' pay increase is not based on the COL. They get 2%. The military is getting 3.4%. Agencies are being expected to do more, particularly in these economically challenging times. Federal spending is part of the GNP. If the GNP rises, rather than contracts, the COL will likely rise and fuel future Social Security increases.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  246. Erla Williams .. Arizona

    I think & feel, this entire government's administration, is entirely a disgrace, to us. He seems to think , his gratitude, granted to HIS, so called, workers deserve to be given an increase on THEIR BIG, income, but, forget the pee-ons..The only damn thing .He could care about us, is OUR NOTE FOR HIM. Well, I say, to HELL with that, too. ..Everything else continues to take an increase, for our living, EXCEPT OUR Social security & believe me, Almost every senior citizen, should raise hell with him over this..This is beyond, our decent respect, for him. And frankly, I'm P.O. ( sorry for being " nice " about this,

    December 18, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  247. Cara

    Four things in response to these commentaries:

    1) Farmers markets are important venues in which to encourage consumers to invest in local (and ideally sustainably) grown produce and other goods.
    2) The arts and our historic relics should be respected and appreciated. Like the environment, when these important things are gone, they're gone forever.
    3) As a government worker, I get paid less than I would if I was working in the private sector. I do what I do because I value providing a public service. Employees at all levels of government should be rewarded for their decision to provide public services and a 2% pay increase is well-deserved.
    4) Social Security is important, but it's not the only consideration that needs to be accounted for when making big government spending decisions.

    I appreciate Obama's efforts to account for these things while stimulating our economy. He's doing something that nearly all of his predecessors have failed to do time and again.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  248. Bones

    Rick, not all federal employees get that cost of living increase, My wife is an RN for the Dept. of Veterans affairs, and I can tell you that Nurses do not get that 2% cost of living increase. Our Health care insurance is going up 8.8% this year. Title 38 employees which nurses are classified under do not ever receive what GS or WG employee receive. Nurses at most may recieve .5 %, hardly enough for that 8.8 % increase in the federal governments health care insurance plan for employees!!!! In addition there is that "localitly pay, which is to be "froze" this year, doesnt matter because Nurses don't get that either. The backdoor budget just mentioned, is just like the Wall Street bankers. How much of this money will be spent on paying" BONUSES" for the management of the VA Hospitals?

    December 18, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  249. HJO

    Forget all this!!! WHERE IS TIGER????

    December 18, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  250. SoloPocono

    Living on less than $800/month, reductions in Medical Benefits this year because of State Budget problems,..it's hard enough to survive each month. I don't know HOW these people calculated "Cost of Living", but MINE went up, as income and benefits went down. NO cost of living increase makes NO Sense what-so-ever!! Then again, "Good Sense" seems to have disappeared in DC....

    December 18, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  251. Faith Gagne

    I've worked and paid taxes all my life. I feel I deserve at least the meager increase the government gives each year. I understand that seniors will not receive a Social Security increase because prices are lower due to the economy. The Congress and the Senate are getting raises so why doesn't this valuation apply to them? I've written to my congressman and senators about this but have not received any response so far.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  252. David

    I think as a culture we over manage every detail. Give the man a break and let him actaully do his job. All I hear is Obama this and health care that....why not close your computer and go back to your job that your getting paid to do and let the congress and Obama do what we elected them to do...manage the country. Sometimes I think there is too much information and too much opinion...good god were were all these people when Bush invaded Iraq!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  253. John Brewer from Bellevue Wa.

    I am not surprised. I will be 80 next June and still work full time to live, Microsoft is acrost the street and inflation still lives here, Have not heard anything more about Seniors that make less than $50,000 not paying any income tax either. The president may forget, but I don't. If I haven't worked myself to death by 2012 I may have to vote for someone else, right after I throw up! I may just say no to everyone.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  254. pamela holt

    jack, my 79 year old husband received his notice in the mail that he would not be getting a raise in his social security check, because there was no increase in the cost of living... just who, is responsible for putting this blatant lie, in writng, and acting like the elderly are soposed to be ignorant enough to believe it. our home owners insurance went up about 400.00, my husbands medicare supplement went up about 71.00 a month, double what it was, our electricity has gone up, food keeps going up and gas fluctuates from day to day. please make whomever the liar is that put the lie that the cost of living hasn"t gone up, FAMOUS... in one week , obama has took the side of pharmaceuticals and stabbed the middle and poor class in the back by making sure they get to continue paying extravagant prices for medication. now the senoir citizens are not getting social security raises . just what has obama have against the poor and the elderly? with friends like him, who needs enemies????

    December 18, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  255. KKN

    Try working for a Federal agency that hasn't had a budget increase in years and years. Service to the public suffers and our scientific research that benefits the public suffers as well. I don't know if my agency gets an increase or not, but I believe we should.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  256. steve in virginia

    Now that's funny. When they were campaigning, Obama and most other Democrats blamed our problems on the Republican's spending too much and now they're saying that spending even more faster is the solution. So there we have it. We don't need all these welfare programs. All the impoverished and have-nots need to do is spend themselves into oblivion to make things better for themselves.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  257. Ardith Stanley

    I am SHOCKED!!! Over a trillion dollars and the seniors are forgotten. Oh – there's $'s in there for nonsense pork projects. Every senator and representative better stand up AND DEMAND a raise for seniors on social security – retroactive to 1/1/10. So much for the promised elimination of pork but remember election time will roll around before we know it and unless things change – my vote certainly will. Also be reminded - say what you mean NOT what you think we want to hear.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  258. Dennis

    In order to reverse the deficit, domestic government spending must be cut dramatically rather than increased. Congress should be enacting hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts in discretionary non-defense spending. This could be done by eliminating waste.These massive spending cuts should be accompanied by equally massive tax reductions for all individuals and businesses. The only way to save our future is to reverse the decades long growth in Ferderal domestic spending.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  259. robert prince

    Since we bailed out compaines on wall street and some of the millions is not required to be paid back and just here in Houston texas feds caught a Pakistan Dr. who was bilking our social security for wheel chairs that wa never delivered. Also yesterday 32 suspects were caught in (3) states inclueded Doctors and nurses on medicare frauld Houston Chronicle 12-17-09 edition. I know this is just the tip of the ice berg,and our goverment wants another Gov. run health care. They cannot run the one we have. I am an Honorable Discharged Vietnam Vet. Wonded in combat 1968-69, 100% dis.Social Security and VA. Dis. 100%, and hell yes I think we need our raise since so much money is wasted and (5,000) earmarks. How could you Mr. President, to our Seniors??????? This is my first ever comment but it won't be my lass, thanks Jack, keep up the good reporting, Merry Christmas to all!!!!!!!!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  260. Thom Richer

    It's the "American Way" now, Jack. Take care of those that's got and it will trickle on down to those who have not. Where have you been? Works like a charm. Just look at what this Reagan/Bush philosophy has done for the economy in the past 12 years or so and what great strides it has had on the American worker and middle and lower class. It must be working like a charm because now Obama is continuing in their footsteps. Must be the "Right" thing to do as there is no more "Left" in congress. This one party system is sure to solve all of our problems.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    December 18, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  261. Gustavo NYC

    Dear Jack: There is a positive side to the announcement of increasing salaries to Goverment employees while not giving increases to the old retired population. This is begining to look as a one Presidential term. Obama already made his money. But for United States population is a lesson not to elect Future Oficials that promises the World, and not give their money to ANY Official in an election.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  262. Barry

    Those that are 65 and are on Medicare are seeing their cost for Medicare go up, but no increase in Social Security to at least cover the increase in Medicare. Therefore without considering any other cost they will have less money then they had this past year.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  263. Steven

    Mr. Cafferty,
    As a person who, like you, is in that demographic where Social Security increases are a way of life I certainly like getting a cost-of-living increase when, in fact, inflation has increased the cost of living. We are told that since this did nor occur no increase is authorized by statute. On the other hand, the anti-government Republicans who never like government programs that don't produce explosions have severely underfunded federal agencies over the last eight years, so for those agencies an increase is no doubt long past due.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  264. Maureen Dobert

    Sacramento CA
    Well folks, this is the change you voted for, so it shouldn't surprise us.
    Democrats, Republicans...no difference, they are all in this political game for the benefit of their own agenda's, which does NOT include the American people. Looking for a very strong 3rd party come 2010
    then vote out every single incumbent.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  265. Don Silva

    As one of the mailions of low income American senior citizens and veterans we just got shafted on the pretence that the cost of living is not iucreasing. My resolve is to vote out the incumbebts out of office come next November and later if need be.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  266. Barbara

    I'm on SSI, which includes my Social Security. That's $10, 380.00 a year. Try living on that. And, I'm lucky, I live in California – on the top of a 6,000 ft. mountain, isolated from everyone & everything, but, the rent is low. Unless you've tried to live like this, you just don't know how it is. And, there is no way out.. Lol, my cousin just sent me a piece of jewelry, paied $25.00 for it. See, it's not her fault – but, $25.00 & my good looks could have gotten me some "brand name" food, that would have been treat!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  267. John

    Exactly. No more budgets based on last years budget. Every 3-5 years there should be a complete house audit and all budgets have to be proven from scratch, not just an X percent increase based on this that or the other thing.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  268. Greta

    I am almost 75 years old. I have worked most of my life and recently retired after 14 years working at a global healthcare facility in the U.S., I get a fixed monthly retirement check for less than $300/month. I also get a small monthly Social Security check which will not increase in 2010 regardless of the increase in cost of my food, dental care, medical expenses...and ,no, I don't buy my everyday clothes from J. Crew. Thanks to good genes I am in good health and would love to work again but jobs are few to be found. Sounds to me as if the guy I voted in for President (name begins with "O") has found an excellent way to get rid of the financial burden of us golden oldies and also, as I understand, our disabled vets.
    Mountain Home, Arkansas

    December 18, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  269. Shaun

    I voted for Obama and am totally disgusted by all this. The total lack of concern for the elderly and disabled people on Social Security is shameful.. It was one of the first cuts he made after taking office – I'll remember this in 2012. No one in that administration deserves a raise – in fact I suggest a salary cut.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  270. LHK

    Cafferty.......you are just discovering the corruption and hippocracy now?

    December 18, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  271. Anthony

    If it is up to the Republicans the poor and the have none will starve and die. Once you are gone there is no need for Social Security, Medicare, or Health Care reform to worry...that is the Republican style!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  272. Dave, Masachusetts

    Very simple Jack. Last year Social Security recipients recieved a 5.8% increase due to the price of oil at the time which we all know started dropping before the increase went into effect in January. The federal employees did not get 5.8%. We all know the cost of living has not risen so no raise. Those increases in the departments? You know Jack that it's not all pay raises. There are some of those departments that actually provide services for the American people, and there are more in need. And I am so tired of the Republicans saying that spending is out of control. Where the hell were they for the last 8 yrs spending and borrowing like the end was near. Have they suddenly had an epiphany?

    December 18, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  273. Manuel Perez

    What else is next? If this administration was serious about an economic recovery they would take that 10% and invest it in the small businesses that are struggling to keep their employees. It's the small business that creates jobs and lets face it, more jobs means more taxpayers. It sounds to me that Washington D.C. is still owned by the special interest groups. I sure hope that the results of the increase the FBI gets leads to the capture of Osama Bin Laden.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  274. Vern Krajewski - Toledo, Ohio

    It's to bad the federal government isn't run like a company. If you don't make any money no one gets any increases, they have to learn to live within their budgets. If they can – cut out the unnecessary. I bet I could find plenty to cut.
    If our government was a company they would be bankrupt and out of business.
    It will never change, they just print more money.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  275. Jay

    You heard it here first...its time for a Revolution.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  276. David Becker

    The idiots in this government won't get it till we send em packing. How much pork was included in the last budget MR Change just signed. Just vote em out again, or come for them armed, Maybe THEN they will get it.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  277. Ben Straub

    We need to reset the economy somehow. I think the US should default on its debt and allow the free-market to take the reigns from the corporate fascist system that we have now. It also would help to elect Ron Paul types to the legislature and presidency. I fear the current policies are going to destroy this country in a few years.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  278. MT

    Both sides are still spending your money! Seniors are struggling to eat and these two idiots spend over a Quarter Million on junk mail for re-election. If they keep this up we will all be broke... but they will be re-elected so I guess we know who they really represent.

    DENVER - Two Colorado congressmen spent more than $100,000 each of taxpayer money last year to mail constituents fliers to bolster their campaigns.

    U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., spent $100,557 last year sending taxpayer-funded mailing and $118,831 on copying costs and U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., spent $103,377 on taxpayer-funded mailing and another $168,223 on copying costs, congressional records show (CR1.07M).

    December 18, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  279. Joshua GR, MI

    I've been saying it sense the beginning along with many others, Washington doesn't care about our elderly. While many of our elderly are now struggling after all the corruption on Wall Street they continue to see no help from the government while the crooks on Wall Street received bailouts. How about people like my grandparents that are now being forced to go back to work after their money was lost on Wall Street and GM screwed them. But instead of helping them get a leg to stand on Washington as a whole has decided to screw them. Let's not just blame Obama on this one, this is politicians and our federal government here. I just hope no one from my generation plans on living long.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  280. SoloPocono

    I wonder if the Feds would employ a 50yr old bed-bound Disability Recipient? With the costs of EVERYTHING rising, many State benefits being cut due to Budget overages, and trying to live on less than $800/month; At LEAST I'd get "Socialized Medical" benefits,...and a 2% Cost of Living Increase!! I'd be SO wealthy I might even be able to afford Christmas cards & stamps for my children next year!!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  281. Joel

    I bet the people in goverment work, and those that recieve jobs from those 5000 ear marks, will not complain about the additional money.
    Sorry, but I see no problem here.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  282. Barbara- Atlanta, GA

    Until all government leaders have to live on Social Security like the rest of us who have worked our entire lives just to be able to feed and provide for our families there will be no solution. We need to stop the pay-till-death attitude of the govenrment leaders. When I change jobs or retire I will not keep earning the same money until I dye why do they expect it.

    Until the government leaders have to be subject to the Health care system and Social Security we have in place for the rest of us there will be no urgency or change.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  283. Tasia Robinson

    Since the problem that we are in right now was created by or with our officials knowledge, we'd like to sign a petition that we all should receive an equal percentage in our benefits regardless of the job position. If we can't afford ours, the people that pay into those officials salaries, then they should not receive any as well. I would go so far to ask that if the Senators, Congress people and the President feel our pain they should offer in "Toff Economic Times" to give back 50% of their salaries for a minimum of 5 years and put a cap on not giving themselves an increase larger then 10%, each time we are allowed to get one of the equal percentage. Let the "Peoples Vote" on it, after all, we are the once that pay them to put us in this mess therefor, they should give us the increase we need to survive, Or Trade Your Income With Ours For One Year And I Guarantee That They Will Know How To Fix This Mess. If we don't dissever it, neither do they. Would CNN help us with signing this petition on your website?

    Thank you, T.R.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  284. Damien D

    Really Jack? You're going to chastise the government for giving to the NIH? An organization which supports research in our universities and national labs helping to fight diseases, search for cures for cancer, AIDS, and many other illnesses that affect not only Americans but global citizens?

    And then you go ahead and cite a watchdog group that is listing some of these spending earmarks. You give NO information on what these reinvestments are doing. Are they producing more jobs? Maybe they are helping small towns in America with some of these investments.

    Your chide little remarks where you instigate people on this forum really appaul me. As a journalist you should be reporting more facts, not feeding digust and hatred from Americans for a spending bill that supports health, protection (FBI) and our Veterans.

    Not reading your column again,

    Damien (US Citizen in Ireland)

    December 18, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  285. Sarah

    The average salary for the 40 hour per week government workers in the Washington area is $94,000 per year, nearly double the nationwide average.

    The Democrats always promise that if you grow the size of government, they will look after the citizenry. In the end they mainly look out for themselves.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  286. Doug-Alaska

    NO! Government employees are already averaging more salary than Joe Citizen. It's a good bet that much of the budget increase is going to raises. I'm less than a year from retirement. I've paid into Social Security and Medicare all my working life. These clowns want to give government a raise and cut Medicare?! Ridiculous....throw all the bums out.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  287. Junior

    No federal employee is getting a 10% raise. Cant you misinformed people read either? The 10% increase is in agency budgets–and its not every agency. This so called 'increase' is needed due to several years of Bush CUTTING agency budgets. Dont you people like your DOT highways and your USDA meat inspectors and all those other things the feds do for you? I'm a federal employee. The 10% increase is to basically keep the lights on. At my agency we have no supplies, no copy paper right now. Contrary to popular belief, we are here working FOR the taxpayer, not against them. And to attract good people to government service (yes, I am serving my country), you have to pay decent salaries. And as for the 2% raise, I'm surprised we are getting anything this year.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  288. K

    Love how this guy explains WHY there is no Social Security increase. SS benefits are adjusted to inflation. No inflation, no increase. So no, things aren't getting more expensive every day, the recipients of SS have as much purchasing power as they did before.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  289. Larry in South Carolina

    Jack, the SS cola is suppossed to keep us about even with inflation; it's not. My part D went up, my groceries have gone up, taxes up...SS not up.
    Maybe time for some politicos terms to be up.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  290. Steve

    I am in Southern CA, and am sick and tired of all the money being spent by Obama and the government in general. Everything from Federal agencies getting a 10% budget increase, to funding 3rd world countries getting money to fight global warming, the fat cats in the financial world getting big bonuses, the banks not lending money, unemployment, billions being cut from Medicare, other services being cut or eliminated, to over 3 trillion to be spent on health care reform, etc. All this while the U.S is close to bankruptcy- If you think it's crazy, it probably is... anybody ever hear of the word revolution.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  291. DawnL,CA

    Pay raise for federal workers??? They can now join the Wall St. thiefs & Auto Companies bail-out. I made the mistake of staying home with my children when they were young & I'm really paying for it now with the very small social security check I receive($845.00 per month.) A 10% raise would mean I could stop eating PB & jelly all the time & put gas in my car.
    However, I always vote....maybe next time someone in government will play fair. I won't hold my breath.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  292. Steve

    Thieves....all of them. Now I've got to get back to the book I'm writing on O'bama's first 12 months in office...."The Dashing of Hope".

    December 18, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  293. Paul

    Jack

    Are we surprised? He who pays the piper calls the tune...

    Paul
    California

    December 18, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  294. Dave in WI

    NO. My SS is frozen and my savings interest rate is now 1.1%, down from 4% two years ago. All I know is that $$ is being transferred from me to someone else at an increasing rate!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  295. Gloria Goodman

    Only the Federal agencies getting that 10% raise approve of that heartless but not surprising move.
    I'm a retired 72 year old living on $995 a month. I worked since I was 17 yrs old and this is what I get to provide me my necessities for the rest of my life. If it wasn't for my 2 daughters helping me to make ends meet at the end of each month I would be nothing more than just another homeless statistic.
    Those fat cats up there should try living on such a budget for a few months and get a taste of reality.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  296. ROGER JOHNSON

    JACK i am one of the few and i say minority seniors that will not be affected by this TRANSPARENT PRESIDENT although i could certainly use it.I am an AIR FORCE VET so i got my medical.and in fact i wass stationed in HAWAII AT HICKHAM while our president was trying to (find himself with drugs etc on the same island that i put my 18 year old life at a time or two out of HICKHAM. DOWEN her in LOGANVILLE ,GA their are maney seniors that have to work and that includes a lot of hours on their feet and they have lost their homes and some are still trying to help their children and grandchildren.THEIR is some help jack but so much of them places are not funded. I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU JACK,I WOULD LIKE YOU TO READ ON THE AIR! HOW WOULD HE FEEL IF HIS MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER WERE IN THE SAME BOAT! no i am not a racist jack ,i voted for the "MAN" WHO SAID HE WOULD CHANGE THINGS BUT HE IS NO DIFFERENT THAN RICH NO CARING REPUBLICANS,HE LOOKS AFTER #1.HE IS DEFINETLY TRANSPARENT AND WHATEVER THE HELL THAT MEANS AND HE WAS THE WORSE VOTE I MADE! like my indian friends in minnesota would say HE SPEAK WITH "FORK" TONGUE

    December 18, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  297. David J. Barici

    No!, flat out NO! In fact they should take a 10% cut.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  298. hardy

    Let's all remember back just one year. People receiving social security got a 5.6% increase, due to the fact energy costs had spiked. That spike fell just as rapidly as it came, leaving ss recipients with a windfall for the rest of the year. SS is tied to the rate of inflation; this year the rate of inflation is very small, if it even exists. Hence no increase.
    As for certain government agency's getting a 10% increase, isn't that what everyone wanted last year? By that I mean good treatment for our returning soldiers (VA), or extra protection for the homeland (Homeland Security, Border Patrol, TSA). These things that you want aren't free. How about doctors, nurses, special agents, plus the people who run these complex agencies. Should they be making the same wages as someone working at the local hamburger stand. You get what you pay for.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  299. Hart, Barneveld (NY)

    Vote them all out next election ... no incumbents!

    December 18, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  300. A.E.

    Can someone please explain how governement can justify any tax increase? Think about it, taxes (governement revenues) go up just on the basis of inflation. Everytime you see a price hike, there is Uncle Sam with his greedy hand out asking for his pound of flesh. As long as this government just views the population as a bunch of saps, it will continue to do whatever it desires. Wake up. Stop voting for incumbents. If you have an unproductive worker, you fire them. If you have an unresponsive governement, you vote them out of power. Repeatedly if necessary until they get the message that it is WE the People that own and run this country – not the Washington Country Club.

    December 18, 2009 at 6:00 pm |